Judge signed a one-year, $10.175 million contract with the Yankees on Friday to avoid arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The 28-year-old will receive an eight-figure salary in 2021after posting a .257/.336/.554 slash line with nine homers in 28 games last season. Judge figures to be in the MVP race again this season if he can stay healthy, which isn't a guarantee given his injury issues over the past three seasons.
Judge went 1-for-5 with a two-run homer Tuesday in a win over the Indians in Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Round. Judge opened the game by cranking a two-run homer in the first inning off Shane Bieber, following a leadoff single from DJ LeMahieu. The 28-year-old slashed .257/.336/.554 throughout the 2020 regular season with an impressive 142 OPS+.
Judge is expected to play in all three contests during the Yankees' weekend series versus the Marlins, Marly Rivera of ESPN.com reports. Judge was held out of the starting lineup Thursday, though he came on as a pinch hitter in the seventh and logged two at-bats while staying in the game to play right field. The team has taken a cautious approach with the slugger since he returned from a strained calf Sept. 16; however, it appears that he'll get a chance to ramp up for the postseason by taking part in all three games this weekend. Since his return, Judge has struggled with a .185 batting average and no extra-base hits while striking out 10 times in 27 at-bats.
Judge isn't in Thursday's lineup against the Blue Jays. Judge went hitless with a walk and one strikeout in three at-bats Wednesday, but he'll play a bench role Thursday as the Yankees continue to manage his workload ahead of the postseason. Clint Frazier will shift to right field with Brett Gardner starting in left.
Judge went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and one RBI during Tuesday's 12-1 win over the Blue Jays. The 28-year-old entered the game 2-for-17 with seven strikeouts since returning from the injured list last week, but he smacked three singles and came around to score each time Tuesday. Judge has a .276/.330/.609 slash line with nine homers, 21 runs and 21 RBI through 23 games this season.