The New York Yankees are a fully operational Death Star after avoiding arbitration with all eligible players, including Aaron Judge.
The New York Yankees signed every one of their arbitration-eligible players Friday, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
Yankees announce they have signed RHP Luis Cessa, RHP Chad Green, RHP Jonathan Holder, OF Aaron Judge, RHP Tommy Kahnle, LHP Jordan Montgomery, LHP James Paxton, C Gary Sánchez and 3B Gio Urshela, avoiding arbitration with all of them.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 10, 2020
The three biggest names to sign new deals are power-hitting catcher Gary Sanchez, star slugger Aaron Judge, and lefty starting pitcher James Paxton. The trio and the players mentioned by Feinsand all signed one-year, non-guaranteed contracts for the 2020 season.
Sanchez will earn $5 million in 2020 after an injury-shorted 2019. He appeared in 106 games and hit just .232, but mashed a career-high 34 home runs with 77 RBI. Per Spotrac, he earned $669,800 last year.
Paxton, meanwhile, earned roughly $8.5 million last season and overcame first-half struggles to dominate the second half. Paxton was 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts and was 10-0 with a 2.50 mark in the last two months of the season.
The man they call “Big Maple” then went 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA in three playoff starts, including a clutch performance in Game 5 of the ALCS. Under his new contract, Paxton will earn $12.5 million.
The biggest new deal of them all, however, goes to Judge. He received an $8.5 million deal after a second consecutive season interrupted by injury. The big outfielder missed two months with a strained oblique but still batted .272 with 27 home runs and 55 RBI. Judge also missed significant time in 2018 with a broken wrist.
All in all, these are all fair contracts. Sanchez has power, but struggles with injuries and strikeouts. Paxton, on top of struggling in the first half of the season, is 31 and a year away from free agency.
It would have been nice for Judge to get a long-term extension, but there’s still time to work one out. The most important thing now is getting everyone ready for a strong 2020 season, and hopefully a trip to the World Series.