Montero, Astros finalize $34.5 million, 3-year contract

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON – Reliever Rafael Montero finalized a $34.5 million, three-year contract to remain with the World Series champion Houston Astros, a deal that could be worth $36.75 million over three seasons.

The 32-year-old right-hander gets $11.5 million in each of the next three seasons under the deal announced Tuesday.

He can earn $500,000 annually in performance bonuses for games: $100,000 each for 50, 55, 60, 65 and 70 games.

Montero also would get a $250,000 bonus in any season he has 30 games finished.

He would get $50,000 for making the All-Star team, $100,000 for Rivera-Hoffman reliever of the year and $65,000 for finishing second or third for the reliever award.

Montero had a career-low 2.37 ERA, going 5-2 with 14 saves, 73 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings and a 1.02 WHIP in a career-high 71 games. He was acquired from Seattle before the 2021 trade deadline and is 18-23 with a 4.64 ERA and 29 saves for the New York Mets (2014-17), Texas (2019-20), Seattle (2021) and Houston.

Source: Aaron Judge, Yankees reach $360M, 9-year deal

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Aaron Judge has agreed to return to the New York Yankees on a $360 million, nine-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday because the deal had not been announced.

Judge will earn $40 million per season, the highest average annual payout for a position player. The contract trails only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers for biggest in baseball history.

Judge was offered a long-term deal by New York before last season that was worth $213.5 million over seven years from 2023-29. But he turned it down in the hours before opening day in April.

The 6-foot-7 Judge bet on himself — and won.

Judge set an American League record with 62 homers in 2022, powering the Yankees to the AL East title. He also tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and just missed a Triple Crown with a .311 batting average.

New York was swept by Houston in the AL Championship Series, but Judge became the first AL MVP for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Judge, 30, was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2016, homering in his first at-bat.

A year later, he was one of baseball’s breakout stars. He hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 2017, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. The four-time All-Star has 220 homers and 497 RBIs in seven big league seasons.