Aaron Judge is much more than a home run hitter, and the Yankees cannot afford to lose him - CBS Sports

Aaron Judge is much more than a home run hitter, and the Yankees cannot afford to lose him - CBS Sports

Aaron Judge is much more than a home run hitter, and the Yankees cannot afford to lose him - CBS Sports
Oct 05, 2022 1 min, 44 secs

Tuesday night, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge swatted his 62nd home run of 2022, a new single-season record in the 122-year-old Junior Circuit.

Home run records get all the attention and understandably so, but Judge is so much more than a home run hitter.

As for the Yankees, they've had an uneven season and nearly collapsed out of the AL East lead entirely.

On July 8 the Yankees led the AL East by 15 1/2 games.

The lead was whittled down to 3 1/2 games as recently as Sept.

The Yankees were able to right the ship somewhat within these last three weeks and they recently clinched the AL East title, as well as a Wild Card Series bye.

The rest of the Yankees have hit .231/.304/.374, which is worse than the .243/.311/.395 league average despite the Yankees playing their home games in home run-happy Yankee Stadium.

Even if he never repeats 2022, Judge has a track record of MVP-caliber seasons.

New York's outfield picture beyond 2022 includes Harrison Bader and that's really it.

To replace him, the Yankees would have to take the old Moneyball approach.

Like the Athletics replacing Jason Giambi, the Yankees would have to upgrade 3-4 positions and replace Judge in the aggregate, and that is very difficult.

Fun fact: 4 of the top 10 most-viewed @Yankees games on @YESNetwork over the past decade have occurred over the past 10 days.

When the Yankees offered Judge a $213.5 million extension this spring, they did so because their internal analysis said he would make them multitudes more in revenue.

Without Judge the Yankees would likely be battling for a wild-card spot rather than celebrating a division title, and seeing how they have the oldest collection of position players in baseball, there's not much upside on the roster

For now, Judge is the new American League home run king, and his unmatched greatness helped the Yankees stave off the largest division collapse in baseball history (no team has blown more than a 13-game lead)

His value to the franchise transcends his on-field production and the Yankees can't afford to lose him to free agency, for more reason than one

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