Breaking: Last Minute Contract Deal For Aaron Judge And Yankees

In a surprising development, Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees have come to a last-minute agreement to avoid arbitration. After initially declining the team's $19M settlement offer for a 2022 contract, Judge has agreed to added incentives the Yankees included at the 11th hour.

Judge had asked for $21M, the Yankees had offered $17M, and when Judge refused to settle in the middle, the team threw in half a million in bonuses for winning the AL MVP (for which he is almost a runaway leader), and for winning World Series MVP.

His total take now could be $19.5M. What might be most important to learn, however, is what the nature of the talks was—were they combative or cordial? This could go a long way in determining if a long-term contract at the end of the season could be possible, or whether he'll leave in free agency.

MLB Insider Jon Heyman, who first reported the settlement, terms it a "positive development" that arbitration was able to be avoided. Not much good can come from a team having to downplay a player's contributions in order to keep his salary down.

Photo Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports