NEW YORK (AP)Aaron Judge agreed to an $8.5 million, one-year contract Friday with the New York Yankees, who also reached a $12.5 million deal with left-hander James Paxton and a $5 million agreement with catcher Gary Sanchez.
New York struck deals with all nine players eligible for salary arbitration, agreeing with relievers Tommy Kahnle ($2.65 million), Chad Green ($1,275,000), Luis Cessa ($895,000) and Jonathan Holder ($750,000), left-hander Jordan Montgomery and infielder Gio Urshela ($2,475,000).
Judge, who made $684,300 last season, turns 28 in April and hit .272 with 27 homers and 55 RBIs in 102 games. The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year after hitting 52 home runs, he was sidelined last season between April 20 and June 21 by a strained left oblique muscle. The outfielder’s power did not return until late August. He hit .265 in the postseason with one homer, two RBIs and 11 strikeouts in 34 at-bats.
Paxton, a 31-year-old left-hander, went 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA in his first season after the Yankees acquired him from Seattle, going 10-0 in his final 11 regular season starts and 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA in three postseason starts. He made $8,575,000 last year and is eligible for free agency after this year’s World Series.
The 27-year-old Sanchez batted .232 with 34 homers and 77 RBIs, his defense improving at times but lapsing at others. He was out with a strained left calf between April 10 and 24 and a strained left groin between July 23 and Aug. 10. Sanchez hit .129 in the playoffs with one homer, three RBIs and 16 strikeouts in 31 at-bats. He made $669,800.
Urshela, a 28-year-old infielder purchased from Toronto for $1 in August 2018, emerged as the Yankees’ starting third baseman after Miguel Andujar injured his right shoulder on March 31. Urshela set career bests with a .314 average, 21 homers and 74 RBIs, slumping in September and hitting .242 with a pair of solo homers in the playoffs. Urshela, who made $600,000 last year, is expected to compete with Andujar for the starting job during spring training.
Green and Kahnle were key components of the Yankees’ stellar bullpen.
Green, a 28-year-old right-hander, made his second opening day roster but was demoted to Triple-A Scranton on April 25 with a 16.43 ERA. He worked on his mechanics in three minor league appearances and returned to a big league mound on May 12. He finished 4-4 with a 4.17 ERA in 54 appearances, going 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA in 15 games as an opener – the Yankees were 11-4 in those appearances.
Green struggled in the AL Championship Series against Houston, allowing a three-run homer to Carlos Correa in Game 4 and a three-run homer to Yuli Gurriel in the first inning of Game 6 as the Yankees were eliminated. He had a salary of $598,650.
Kahnle, a 30-year-old right-hander, is eligible for arbitration for the third time after earning $1,387,500 and can become a free agent after the 2021 season. He was 3-2 with a 3.67 ERA in a career-high 72 relief appearances.
Holder, a 26-year-old right-hander, was a more junior member of the bullpen and went 5-2 with a 6.31 ERA in 33 relief appearances and one start. Holder, who had a salary of $580,300, did not pitch after Aug. 6 because of right shoulder inflammation.
Cessa, a right-hander who turns 28 in April, was 2-1 with a 4.11 ERA in 43 relief appearances in his first full major league season. He earned $587,975.
Montgomery, a 27-year-old left-hander, is a possibility for the back end of the Yankees rotation after returning on Sept. 23, his first big league appearances since Tommy John surgery on June 7, 2018. Montgomery made $596,600 last year while spending most of the year on the injured list.
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