NEW YORK -- The Yankees have big expectations for the season ahead, and by agreeing to terms with all nine of their arbitration-eligible players on Friday, they have eliminated at least one distraction from what promises to be an eventful Spring Training camp.
Those reaching agreement include: catcher Gary Sánchez ($5 million), outfielder Aaron Judge ($8.5 million), third baseman Gio Urshela ($2.475 million) and pitchers James Paxton ($12.5 million), Jordan Montgomery ($805,000), Luis Cessa ($895,000), Chad Green ($1.275 million), Jonathan Holder ($750,000) and Tommy Kahnle ($2.65 million).
Contract figures, which were not announced by the club, were confirmed by sources to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and The Associated Press.
Judge, who could still be a candidate for a long-term extension, will gain added security after providing the Yankees with three seasons of significant value for a relatively small amount. He turns 28 in April and is coming off a campaign in which Judge batted .272 with 27 home runs, 55 RBIs and a .921 OPS (143 OPS+) in 102 games.
Paxton picked up more than a 45 percent raise over his $8.575 million deal from last season, when the left-hander went 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA (116 ERA+) in 29 starts. The 31-year-old Paxton was in his final year of arbitration-eligibility and could be a free agent after the 2020 season.
Sánchez’s agreement represents a healthy boost over the $669,800 that he earned in 2019, when the 27-year-old was selected for his second American League All-Star team. In 106 games, Sánchez batted .232 with 34 homers (tops among big league catchers) and 77 RBIs, compiling an .841 OPS (119 OPS+).
Urshela was among the game’s breakout performers of 2019, taking over third base in the Bronx following an early season injury to Miguel Andújar. In 132 games, Urshela batted .314 with 34 doubles, 21 homers and 74 RBIs, compiling an .889 OPS (133 OPS+). Urshela, 28, earned $555,000 in 2019.
Cessa ($578,975 in 2019), Green ($598,650 in ’19), Holder ($580,300 in ‘19), Kahnle ($1.387 million in ‘19) and Montgomery ($596,600 in ‘19) were also in line for pay bumps. All project to be in competition for places on New York’s pitching staff this spring, with Montgomery viewed as a contender for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
Friday marked the deadline for arbitration-eligible players and their clubs to exchange salary figures. Players who have three or more years of Major League service but less than six years of Major League service become eligible for salary arbitration if they do not already have a contract for the next season.
The Yankees have not been to an arbitration hearing since 2017, when they defeated right-hander Dellin Betances in a battle over $2 million. Prior to that, their last trip to the arbitration table was in 2008, when they prevailed over right-hander Chien-Ming Wang.