As the Yankees still await a clearer outlook on the timeline for Aaron Judge, Tiki wonders if the franchise is already starting to second-guess signing their MVP and captain to a massive contract this past winter.
“Do the Yankees regret signing Aaron Judge to a nine-year, $360 million contract? Do they already regret it?” Tiki said. “This is what everyone feared outside the Yankees, or even inside the Yankees. You sign Judge to this big deal, you’re risking an injury from regretting it. if they had done it, before arbitration ran out, they would have saved themselves $100 million.
“Half a year in, the Yankees are saying, ‘Oh crap, what do we do?’”
Of course, at the time, Judge was coming off a season in which he blasted 62 home runs, flirted with the Triple Crown, and was directly responsible for Yankee Stadium being filled down the stretch of the season thanks to his home run chase. His jersey is among the best sellers in the league, and he is arguably the best hitter on the planet, not to mention Gold Glove caliber defense in right field. So, despite past injury concerns that largely had not been an issue since 2020, locking Judge up long-term seemed like a no-brainer.
But Tiki, speaking from his own athletic experience, wonders if Judge will ever be his full self again physically after a complicated toe injury, and that in itself could give the franchise some room to second-guess its massive financial commitment to its biggest star.
“I only say that because this isn’t like a hamate bone break or a strained quad,” Tiki said. “This is a ligament in his toe that doesn’t seem to be getting better…it could forever change his career.
“I’m not being an alarmist. I’m just saying, when you have that specific injury…when his big right toe, which is the anchor to his swing, is compromised, damaged maybe irreparably, do the Yankees regret signing Aaron Judge to a $360 million deal, and in year one, he jacks himself up? If I’m the Yankees, even if it’s in the deepest recesses of my brain, and I’d never say it publicly…they have to have some regret about this, because we don’t know how Aaron Judge is going to respond to this specific injury.”