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Aaron Judge, Yankees avoid arbitration with one-year deal

Aaron Judge follows through on a solo home

Aaron Judge follows through on a solo home run against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 22, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Aaron Judge will get a big pay raise for 2020 after avoiding arbitration and agreeing to a one-year deal with the Yankees on Friday.

The team announced that it had reached agreement with Judge and eight other arbitration-eligible players, including catcher Gary Sanchez, lefthander James Paxton and third baseman Gio Urshela.

Judge will make $8.5 million for the upcoming season, a source confirmed. That's a significant increase from the $684,300 he made last season, according to Spotrac. It's also extremely affordable for a player of Judge's caliber.

Sanchez will make $5 million, Paxton will get $12.5 million and Urshela will make $2.475 million for the upcoming season, the source confirmed.

Players and clubs had until Friday’s noon deadline to exchange salary figures. The Yankees extended contract offers to the arbitration-eligible players last month. If players and clubs don't agree to deals by the deadline, then the arbitration process starts to finalize contracts for the upcoming season, with hearings next month. Players and teams can negotiate contracts up until the hearings.

Judge won the American League Rookie of the Year award and finished second in the AL MVP voting in 2017, hitting .284 with 52 home runs and 114 RBIs. The following two seasons were injury-plagued, with Judge playing 112 games in 2018 and 102 last season. He did, however, hit 27 home runs in each season. He was an AL All-Star in 2017 and 2018 and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.

Sanchez got a big raise after making $669,800, according to Spotrac, in his fourth season with the Yankees. He was named an All-Star for the second time in 2019 and hit 34 home runs with a .232 average in 106 games in an injury-plagued season. He will join Judge as an unrestricted free agent in 2023.

Paxton was acquired in a trade with the Mariners on Nov. 19, 2018. He was 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts in his first season with the Yankees, achieving a career high in wins and going 10-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 10 starts between Aug. 2 and Sept. 21. Paxton made $8,575,000 last season, according to Spotrac.

The Yankees acquired Urshela, 27, from the Blue Jays on Aug. 4, 2018, and he took advantage of his opportunity in 2019. With Miguel Andujar missing most of the season with a torn right labrum, Urshela played in 132 games, hitting .314 with 21 home runs and 74 RBIs. Urshela made $515,000 in 2019, according to Spotrac.

Other arbitration-eligible Yankees to agree to one-year deals were righthanders Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder and Tommy Kahnle and lefthander Jordan Montgomery.

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