MLB player salaries have skyrocketed over the past decades, with contract lengths of more than 10 years and yearly salaries surpassing $30 million becoming the norm for superstars.
This trend really started in the year 2000, when Alex Rodriguez signed for 10 years and $252 million with the Texas Rangers, setting the tone for what now has been almost 25 years of monster MLB contracts.
Now, in the year in which mobile New York sports betting got off the ground, the current record for contract value belongs to Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels. Trout is in the midst of a 12-year, $426,500,000 contract with an annual salary in excess of $35 million.
But there is one name poised to challenge that deal this offseason, as reigning Home Run king Aaron Judge’s contract is up with the New York Yankees.
Judge was offered a seven-year pact last offseason by the Yankees worth $213.5 million. Judge chose to bet on himself, declining the contract extension in the hopes that his play during the 2022 season would make him worth even more.
Anyone armed with a New York sports betting app knows Judge did exactly that.
The idea of turning down a contract worth more than $200 million seems crazy, but even crazier is the fact that it is about to pay off for Judge, as he had a season for the ages. Judge bashed an AL-record 62 home runs and was just short of winning the AL Triple Crown as well, finishing five batting average points shy of that title. BetMGM Sportsbook New York and the other live operators set odds during the season on whether Judge would break the longstanding Yankees’ home run mark of 61 in a season.
With teams such as the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets reportedly in the mix to sign Judge - in addition to the Yankees, who are keen to re-sign him - Judge no doubt will sign a huge contract before the start of spring training.
All of this begs one question, besides the obvious one of which team will sign Judge. Will Aaron Judge’s new deal set a record for total money for an MLB player contract? Will Judge surpass Trout’s massive deal and establish a new ceiling for upper echelon MLB players?
EmpireStakes.com utilized Baseball-Reference.com to analyze the top 15 active MLB contracts and the players’ performances to develop hypothetical odds for how much money Aaron Judge will get in his contract.
No matter where he signs, Judge will be a big factor in 2023 MLB betting in New York.
How High is High for Aaron Judge?
Here are the hypothetical odds for how much money Judge will make:
Looking into the data suggests that Judge’s contract is most likely to fall in the $325-350 million range, a massive total but nowhere near the Trout number.
EmpireStakes.com set the hypothetical odds for Judge’s contract to fall in that $325 million range at -115. The hypothetical odds of him receiving a contract surpassing Trout’s are a staggering +24900, as the data suggests a 0.40% chance of the contract surpassing that total.
What If There Is a Bidding War?
Despite these odds, the one thing that looking at this data can’t take into account is the aggressiveness of the potential owners who are looking for a franchise-changing superstar.
If a bidding war develops over Judge, the number of years offered to him could skyrocket, and therefore so will the total salary of the deal. The numbers being rumored at the moment suggest that the Yankees’ current offer would set the record for most money per year for Judge, at around $37 million, but the length of the contract would not be long enough to overtake Trout’s deal for total dollars. The rumored offer is $300 million over eight years, a range that EmpireStakes has given a 20% chance of coming to fruition with odds of +400.
It seems a foregone conclusion that the average annual value of this upcoming contract will set or at least challenge the highest in the league. As for total contract value, EmpireStakes has determined that the odds are against Judge setting the MLB record.
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