Mark Blinch/Getty Aaron Judge
Staying loyal to his team is paying off big for Aaron Judge.
The superstar baseball player and the New York Yankees have agreed to a nine-year contract worth $360 million, according to multiple reports on Wednesday morning.
MLB Network insider Jon Morosi was among the first to confirm the news. "Aaron Judge is in agreement with the Yankees," Morosi reported.
Judge, 30, debuted for the team in 2016 and has played for the organization exclusively since he was drafted in 2013.
Judge delivered a historic performance for the team this season when he surpassed Roger Maris' record for home runs in an American League single season in October. "It's an incredible honor and there's a lot of emotions," he told the Yes Network after his 62nd homer. "It took me a little longer than I wanted to but ... it's something pretty special."
Speculation over Judge's free agency had Yankees fans concerned he would part ways with the organization. He was one of the most sought-after free agents in the MLB this off-season after playing seven seasons with the New York Yankees.
His 2023 destination was a major question mark until Wednesday, with continued speculation he had been considering the San Fransisco Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, among others. It looked like Judge was headed to the Giants on Tuesday night, when one MLB insider prematurely reported that the slugger agreed to a deal with San Fransisco, only to apologize for "jumping the gun."
Judge, who was just named TIME's 2022 Athlete of the Year, graced the outlet's cover on Tuesday, and put added worry in to Yankees fan's hearts when he talked about feeling excited for free agency.
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"When I was young and getting into the game, all guys ever talked about was, 'Hey, wait until you become a free agent. You're getting a chance to make your own decision, start a legacy somewhere, start something new somewhere,' " he said. "I'm looking forward to the whole process, man. It's going to be special."