There’s no excuse for the Miami Marlins not to spend on free agents. Aaron Judge is the likely AL MVP and is looking at a historic contract this off-season. I’m talking about 8-9 years at close to $40 million a season. Close to $400 million. We aren’t going to pay that and it’s the smart thing to do. Aaron Judge is the top upcoming free agent and fits our needs, so how is it that I think it’s great that we won’t sign him?
Aaron Judge is headed for the list of worst contracts ever.
Bad contracts can be catastrophic for teams. They stifle the payroll and force teams to use players who hurt the team. Investing in a player for a decade at historically high salaries is incredibly risky and only truly elite players deserve that risk. Aaron Judge is not that elite player.
The first strike against Aaron Judge is his age. He will be 31 years old on opening day in 2023. Assuming he signs for 8 years, he will be 39 when his contract ends. Players typically start declining around 34-35, so that’s 4-5 years of declining production and only 3-4 of peak production. It’s also obvious that he’s not hitting 62 home runs again, considering he did this in his contract year. If you’ve been watching the game for years, you know what that typically means.
The second strike against Aaron Judge is his injury history. After his first full season in 2017, he spent season after season on the IL. He missed significant time in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The worst part is that 2020 was already a shortened season and he still missed more than half the season. He was finally relatively healthy the last two seasons, but that injury history is extremely alarming.
The third strike on Aaron Judge is his batting profile. He strikes out a LOT. He’s as likely to lead the Major Leagues in home runs as he is in strikeouts. In fact he did just that back in 2017. Players who strike out this much typically don’t age well. *cough Adam Dunn *cough. Judge’s good batting averages also come with surprisingly high BABIP’s, which hints at unsustainable luck going forward.
Is Aaron Judge a good investment for the Miami Marlins or another team? I don’t think so. He’s going to be on the list of the worst contracts ever when everything is said and done.