Aaron Judge Arbitration: 10 Things to Know as Yankees, Star Outfielder Stay on Track for Wednesday’s Hearing

Aaron Judge Arbitration: 10 Things to Know as Yankees, Star Outfielder Stay on Track for Wednesday’s Hearing

Aaron Judge Arbitration: 10 Things to Know as Yankees, Star Outfielder Stay on Track for Wednesday’s Hearing

The New York Yankees and Aaron Judge remain on track to hold a salary arbitration hearing on Wednesday. according to Jon Heyman† Should this hearing come true, it will determine how much Judge will be compensated for his 2022 season. In theory, the two sides could reach an agreement before appearing before an arbitration panel; Heyman notes, however, that there is no sign of progress in those talks.

You might be wondering what the arbitration process looks like, or what qualifies a player to qualify for something like this. Alternatively, you may want to know how this might affect the Yankees’ efforts to keep Judge for the long haul. So let’s answer 10 frequently asked questions about Judge, the Yankees, and the entire arbitration process.

1. What is arbitration?

Teams may dictate players’ compensation during the first few seasons of a player’s career in the major league. After the player reaches a certain amount of service time, he is allowed to attend an arbitration hearing, which in turn allows him to earn wages more in line with their actual market value. Both the team and the player submit a number that they believe represents fair compensation for the coming year, then present their case to a panel of arbitrators. Those arbitrators will determine later which number is fairer.

2. Who is Eligible for Arbitration?

In general, most players eligible for arbitration have more than three years and less than six years of service in the major league. There are some notable exceptions, as the top 22 percent of players with more than two years of service are also eligible to arbitrate under the “Super Two” designation. Judge, for his part, entered the year with more than five years of service, putting him on the abyss of free agency.

3. What is service time anyway?

It is the benchmark that determines when players are eligible for arbitration and/or free agency. Essentially, players are awarded a service day for each day they are on the major league roster or injured major league list. A player needs 172 days of service to earn a full year of credit, and six full years to get free agency.

4. What Happens During an Arbitration Session?

The team insults their player to a panel of arbitrators to save a few bucks? Well, that may be an exaggeration, but the team and player side are both given time to give presentations on why their file number represents a real value. These arguments are generally based on historical precedents and tend to focus on surface-level analysis—things that non-experts can understand. As mentioned above, the panel determines which side the filing number best represents fair compensation from.

5. Why are the hearings held in season?

Arbitration hearings are usually held in early February, before the official start of spring training. The owner-imposed ban from Major League Baseball forced this year’s hearings to be held throughout the season.

6. How are players compensated before their hearings?

The precedent dating back to the 1990s is that players are paid based on the team’s file number prior to the hearing. If the player subsequently wins the case, the team must make up with the player for the remainder of the season.

7. How far apart are Judge and the Yankees?

The two sides are $4 million apart. Judge filed on $21 million; the Yankees filed for $17 million. It is worth noting that Judge had estimated $17.1 million for the MLB Trade Rumors arbitration model. At the very least, that suggests that the Yankees are using an internal valuation method similar to MLBTR’s.

8. Does hearing affect extension calls?

Probably not. Yankees chief executive Brian Cashman told reporters in April that he had offered Judge a seven-year deal worth $30.5 million a year. Judge’s price has supposedly gone up since then. It’s possible Judge won’t be kind to the Yankees who refuse to grant his request for the 2022 season, but there’s a good chance he’ll sign the most lucrative deal he’s offered this winter. If it’s the Yankees making that offer, it’s hard to see Judge holding this against them.

9. Are Judge’s 2022 stats admissible?

No. Judge has had a great start to the season, hitting .301/.380/.647 (192 OPS+) with 25 homeruns in his first 65 games. Unfortunately, that doesn’t matter at the hearing; the 2022 season, by all accounts, might as well not exist as far as it goes. Judge’s production should help improve his future pay, so it’s not all in vain.

10. How many arbitration sessions are there left?

Fittingly, Judge is the final hearing, according to Joel Sherman. For those who can’t get enough of this part of the game, you won’t have to wait long for the next hearings. They are only eight months away.