The New York Yankees have had a busy offseason already but could they be looking to lock up some of their younger talent to contract extensions?
The Yankees have shown that they are not afraid to lock up players with contract extensions before they are free agents.
This was shown during spring training of the 2019 season when they locked up right-hander Luis Severino (4/$40mil) and outfielder Aaron Hicks (7/$70mil). A lot of teams are doing that now as with the issues with free agents and arbitration, teams aren’t afraid to hand out contract extensions. Also with the CBA ending in 2021, it would be smart to get ahead of the curve before any changes are made.
Here are three Yankees that could get extensions before the season starts:
OF Aaron Judge
Judge, the next captain of the Yankees. We all know that Judge will (hopefully) be a Yankee for life, but what helps the Yankees is Judge’s age. When Judge is officially a free agent, which won’t be until 2023, he will be 31 years old. Players usually don’t hit the market at that age for the first time. But I can see the Yankees locking him up this year to get him on a good deal.
We all know how good of a hitter Judge is, but the only concern is his health as he hasn’t had a completely healthy year since his rookie season in 2017. But he will be a Yankee for life and I see the Yankees giving him a five-year deal worth $100 million. Judge is currently in his first year of arbitration and is projected to receive $6.4 million.
C Gary Sanchez
Now, this is an interesting one as there are people who love Sanchez and people who feel he shouldn’t be a part of the future. When he is healthy, Sanchez is the best catcher in baseball. If he stays healthy and continues to put up strong numbers, he could go down as the best offensive catcher of all time.
Gary averages around 28 homers per season and that could go up if he plays more than 100 games in a season. The Yankees need to start thinking about locking him up because we all know the player he is when he is healthy. I can see the Yankees locking him up for five-years and $90 million which is $18 million a year—good for the fourth-highest in the league. It would, just like Judge’s, start after this season is over.
IF D.J. LeMahieu
It is crazy to think that the Yankees got DJ for only $12 million per year for two years during the 2018 offseason. For what he brought to the team in 2019, he should have been paid more. In 2019, DJ slashed .327/.375/.518 while hitting 26 homers and driving in 102 runs.
He plays all over the infield and is the man at the top of the order for the Yankees. The Yankees need to extend him before the season to risk another team taking him when he hits the market at the end of the year. I see the Yankees giving DJ two years, $30 million that would add on to what is left of the two-year, $24 million deal that he signed last year.