Due to yet another disappointing end to the New York Yankees season, the team may be looking to trade Aaron Judge prior to the start of the 2021 season, according to multiple baseball analysts. The right fielder’s past injuries, as well as the organization’s salary cap, both play a role in whether Judge will be let go.
The squad lost against the Tampa Bay Rays in a five-game playoff series that ended 3-2 in the Rays favor. The 2020 roster was packed with talent and was expected to be a World Series contender, and the sudden end to the season did not display the full potential of the club.
One aspect that impacts Judge’s future with the squad is his past injuries. He suffered a mild calf strain back in August, according to a report from ESPN. Some analysts have speculated that he never fully recovered from the injury, and it later negatively affected his batting form. Additionally, he also has been dealing with a rib injury that initially became a problem back in March. Both incidents are concerning when considering his health looking forward.
A bigger factor that holds Judges’ future in jeopardy is New York’s financial situation and the salaries that have already been committed to other players on the roster. The squad already has over $130 million committed in its payroll for the upcoming season, according to a report from Yahoo Sports. The 28-year-old is currently expected to receive a $10.7 million arbitration raise. However, the uncertainty tied to the coronavirus pandemic may force the Yankees to be more frugal in how they divvy out the payroll and prevent a long-term contract for Judge.
The organization has a few other members who have already secured long-term contract deals, including Gerrit Cole, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres, according to a report from International Business Times. Ultimately, whether Judge receives an extension depends on money, and the staff has already given out a large portion of its current budget.
In regard to Judges’ performance on the field, it can be assumed that the Yankees want to keep such an influential player on the roster. Throughout his four seasons with the organization, he has a total of 110 home runs and 246 RBI’s alongside a 0.273 batting average. He has also been praised as one of the best outfielders that currently plays the game of baseball.
The likelihood of Judge leaving New York is quite small, however, it certainly is possible. Due to his on-field performance as well as being deemed the face of the team, the only aspect that ultimately prevents him from returning to his current team are budget restrictions.