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Aaron Judge is set to become a free agent after the World Series after agreeing to a one-year, $19 million deal with the Yankees on Friday. Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

NEW YORK — Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees avoided an arbitration hearing Friday by agreeing to a $19 million, one-year contract, a deal that leaves the slugger on track to become a free agent after the World Series.

Unable to agree to a long-term deal in talks that ended on opening day, the sides split the difference between the proposed arbitration figures they exchanged on March 22: $21 million by Judge and $17 million by the Yankees.

Judge can make an additional $500,000 in award bonuses: $250,000 for MVP and $250,000 for World Series MVP.

“Excited that that’s that’s behind us and we can leave that portion of the show alone,” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said.

Telephone talks resumed this week, and the sides reached the deal just before they were to exchange written evidence they intended to present during a Zoom hearing before a three-person panel scheduled to start at noon.

The slugging outfielder is in the midst of perhaps his best season, batting .304 with a major league-leading 27 homers and 53 RBI in 68 games. On track for his fourth All-Star selection in seven big league seasons, he hit a game-winning single during Thursday night’s 7-6 come-from-behind victory over defending AL champion Houston.


Judge has helped power the Yankees to a major league-best 52-18 record, New York’s best through 70 games since 1939 and the best among all big league teams since the 2001 Seattle Mariners. He also has shifted from right field to become the Yankees’ primary center fielder.

No statistics or evidence from after March 1 were admissible other than contract and salary comparisons, timing set when Major League Baseball and the players’ association agreed to the deal that ended the lockout.

Judge batted .287 with 39 homers and 98 RBI last season.

BLUE JAYS: Hitting coach Guillermo Martínez was suspended for five games and fined by Major League Baseball for a confrontation with umpire Doug Eddings.

Martínez was discplined by MLB senior vice president Michael Hill for making contact with Eddings and what MLB termed unsportmanlike conduct during the lineup cards exchange before Wednesday’s game at the Chicago White Sox.

The 37-year-old Martínez began serving the suspension when the Blue Jays played at Milwaukee on Friday night.


A former minor league infielder, Martínez was hired by Toronto as a minor league coach in 2012 and joined the major league staff for the 2019 season.

METS: New York right-hander Max Scherzer will not be activated from the injured list and start the final game of the club’s series against the Miami Marlins Sunday.

“Nobody ever said he was,” Mets Manager Buck Showalter said before the series opener. “He was projected because of where he was. Talking to Max and talking to everybody he’s making the progress he should be. Not where he needs to be. He’s getting closer.”

The three-time Cy Young Award winner has been sidelined since May 19 because of an oblique strain. The 37-year-old Scherzer, who signed a three-year $130 million free agent deal with the Mets in the offseason, was 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA in eight starts before going on the injured list.

Scherzer made a rehab start at Double-A Binghamton on Tuesday, throwing 65 pitches in 3 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs, three hits, walked one and struck out six.

DODGERS: Freddie Freeman expected to be emotional during his anticipated return to Atlanta.


He wasn’t prepared for the flood of feelings – and tears – that came before his first game back as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

A rush of them forced him to walk out of his pregame news conference before it began. Freeman had to gather himself several times when discussing his continued love for the Braves and Atlanta. He then questioned how he would make it through the three-game series.

“I don’t even know how I’m going to get through this weekend,” Freeman said.

Receiving his 2021 World Series championship ring, presented by Braves Manager Brian Snitker in a pregame ceremony, produced more emotions from Freeman. Following a tribute video to Freeman, he made a slow walk to the field to join Snitker, who stood beside the World Series trophy in front of the mound.

ROYALS: Catcher Salvador Perez had surgery on his left thumb and was placed on the 10-day injured list.

The operation repaired the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb, and he’s expected to need eight weeks to recover, Manager Mike Matheny said.


The 32-year-old Perez missed nine games with a left thumb sprain earlier this season, then left a victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday with the UCL issue.

A seven-time All-Star, Perez is hitting a career-worst .211 with 11 home runs a year after leading the majors with 48 homers and 121 RBI.


METS 5, MARLINS 3: Francisco Lindor homered, doubled and drove in four runs to lead New York to a win in Miami.

Mark Canha also went deep and Taijuan Walker pitched six-plus innings of three-run ball for the NL East leaders. Walker (6-2) allowed eight hits, walked two and struck out five.

ASTROS 3, YANKEES 1: Justin Verlander pitched four-hit ball over seven innings, Kyle Tucker hit a three-run homer and Houston beat Yankees to stop New York’s 15-game home winning streak.


With wife Kate Upton watching from a first-row seat behind the plate, Verlander (9-3) averaged 95.5 mph with his fastball, up from 94.8 mph coming in during his first season since Tommy John surgery. The 39-year-old right-hander, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, struck out three and walked one, lowering his ERA to 2.22.

RAYS 4, PIRATES 3: Harold Ramirez scored Vidal Brujan with a game-ending pinch-single in the 10th inning, lifting Tampa Bay over Pittsburgh in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Brujan took second as Tampa Bay’s automatic runner and stole third against Yerry De Los Santos (0-1) before Ramirez’s hit.

ROYALS 3, ATHLETICS 1: Zach Greinke tossed six innings of one-run ball, Edward Olivares hit two solo homers and Kansas City won at home.

Both Grienke (1-4) and Olivares were activated from rehab assignments on Friday.

After missing 43 games with a right quad strain, Olivares belted homers to left field in his first two at-bats — in the third and fifth innings — for his first career multi-homer game.


DODGERS 4, BRAVES 1: Trea Turner had three hits, including a home run, Freddie Freeman reached base three times in his emotional return to Atlanta and Los Angeles beat the Braves.

Julio Urías (5-6) handed the Braves just their fourth loss in June, allowing one run on three hits with nine strikeouts in six innings.

The Braves, who remained four games behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East, fell to 18-4 this month.

ROCKIES 1, TWINS 0: Germán Márquez pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings and Colorado edged the Twins in a rare trip to Minnesota.

Charlie Blackmon’s run-scoring fielder’s choice was the difference for the Rockies, who snapped a three-game skid.

Márquez (4-5) had a season high in innings and season low in runs in winning his third straight decision as Colorado bounced back from a three-game sweep in Miami.

CUBS 3, CARDINALS 0: Kyle Hendricks carried a shutout into the eighth inning and Nico Hoerner homered to help Chicago to a win in St. Louis.

Ian Happ also drove in a run for Chicago, which has won two of three.

Hendricks (3-6) continued his mastery over the Cardinals, who had won 12 of the previous 17 against the Cubs. He gave up five hits in 7 1/3 scoreless innings, struck out six and walked one. Hendricks improved to 13-3 in 25 lifetime starts against his NL Central rivals, his most victories against any team.

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