Aaron Judge signed a massive nine-year, $360 million contract this offseason with the New York Yankees. That puts him a Yankee, and making $40 million a year, until the age of 39. That can cause concern for a fan base that might not be convinced he can produce until then.
This is the biggest concern for all mega contracts, especially those being handed out this offseason. Will Xander Bogaerts be worth $25 million at 40 years old? Will Trea Turner be worth $30 million at 38?
Probably not, but contracts don't work that way anymore. Still, the concern for the fans is there, especially for a player like Judge who just set an impossible precedent (record 62 home runs) and has a bit of an injury history.
For an example of a player being as good or better in their twilight years, look no further than Raul Ibanez, who certainly believes Judge can do the same.
The podcast hosts mentioned that Ibanez had a stellar career in his 30s and 40s, to which Ibanez said:
"If you train, take care of your nutrition... I wound up buying a hyperbaric chamber even though I'm claustrophobic, slept in it for years. You take care of yourself and nutritionally, the science and the way that you can recover now, there's a way to continue to be productive and guys are still doing it now, so I would never bet against Aaron Judge to be able to do it."
From age 31 to 41, Ibanez produced over 18 fWAR.
Did the New York Yankees overpay for Aaron Judge?
The Yankees paid a pretty penny for Aaron Judge. After an MVP season in which he broke a franchise and American League record with home runs, they had no choice.
Did they overpay him? Probably, but it doesn't matter all that much. For starters, they had MVP level production for years on a miniscule contract, so this is backpay of sorts.
Contracts are also never based on what someone will do because that's not possible to predict. They are often based on what someone has done, and what Judge did was worth every dime.