Aaron Judge is in the midst of a stellar season that is only driving up the price of his next contract for the New York Yankees or whichever team ultimately signs the slugger. 

Yankees chairman Hal Steinbrenner said that even if negotiations with Judge take place during this season, the team won’t release details or give any public updates until after the season is over.  

Judge turned down an eight-year contract in the range of $230million before the season, and said he wouldn’t negotiate again until after the season. He signed a one-year, $19 million deal last month that avoided an arbitration hearing. 

Judge could become the most sought after free agent in years if he hits the market, especially after this season during which he is batting .281 with a major-league leading 29 home runs with 60 RBIs.  He is the biggest reason why the Yankees lead baseball with a 58-23 record – matching their second-best 81-game start in franchise history – and are in complete control of the American League East.  

"No matter what happens during the season, we’re not going to give any updates. We’re just not going to," Steinbrenner said Wednesday. "I completely agree with Aaron, and still do, that in no way, shape or form can this be a distraction. So the sole focus is winning a championship. That’s all anyone needs to worry about right now." 

Steinbrenner said the Yankees have "no regrets" about the financial terms of their initial offer.  

"We made an offer that I feel was a very good one. It was based on the numbers, of course, but it was also based, in part, on what he means to the organization. We just didn’t get a deal done." 

Framber Valdez and Jeremy Pena starred as the Houston Astros claimed their sixth consecutive win on Sunday, defeating the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 on Sunday.

Helping the Astros secure the sweep in a three-game series of divisional ball in the American League West, Valdez struck out a career-high 13 batters in six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and five walks over 107 pitches.

Meanwhile, Angels star Mike Trout did not claim a hit from four at-bats on Sunday, finishing the three-game series on zero-for-11 on nine strike outs.

Astros rookie Pena homered twice on the other hand, with a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning off Ryan Tepera walking his side off.

The Astros moved to 51-27 for the season and took full advantage of the AL-leading New York Yankees' loss, moving to within six games.

Guardians combine for one-hitter

The Yankees were kept scoreless by the Cleveland Guardians, who bounced back from Saturday's double-header sweep to win 2-0 on Sunday.

Guardians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie shut the AL-leaders down over seven innings, striking out seven over 92 pitches, with Eli Morgan and Emmanuel Clase cleaning up for a combined one-hitter.

Franmil Reyes drove in both runs for Cleveland, with a solo home run off Jordan Montgomery in the fourth inning before an RBI single in the eighth.

Narvaez nails Thompson for Brewers win

Omar Narvaez propelled the Milwaukee Brewers to their seventh win in the last 10, as they defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0.

The 2021 All-Star proved the difference in an otherwise tight game, giving the Brewers their two runs with a two-run shot off Zach Thompson in the fifth inning.

Brandon Woodruff was solid on the mound, striking out eight despite six hits to keep the Pirates scoreless over his six innings, as the National League Central leaders moved to 46-35.

Nolan Arenado sparked a record string of home runs and hit the game-winning drive for the St. Louis Cardinals, in their 7-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

With two outs in the first inning, Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Dylan Carson sent Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson deep, making it the first time in MLB history a team connected for four straight home runs in the opening frame.

The game was tied at 6-6 in the ninth inning when Arenado hit another home run, this time sending Seranthony Dominguez over left field.

Arenado's game-winning performance from four at-bats was impressive enough in isolation, before considering it was backing up from hitting for cycle in Friday's 5-3 defeat to the Phillies.

The Cardinals moved to within a game of the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, moving their record for the season to 44-36.

Yankees sweep Guardians in double-header 

The New York Yankees are running away with the American League East, taking both games in a double-header against the Cleveland Guardians.

Matt Carpenter homered twice in the opening 13-4 win, before Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton hit consecutive home runs and Nestor Cortes shut the Guardians down for six innings, for the 6-1 win in the later game.

The Yankees are 25-6 since May 31, holding a seven-game lead over the Houston Astros in the AL and at 58-21, hold the franchise's second-best record over 79 games.

Freeman leads Dodgers to victory

Freddie Freeman continued his strong form for the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting the first of three home runs in the opening inning of their 7-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Freeman, who leads the Dodgers for OBP at .391 for the season, hit his sixth home run since the start of June after sending Yu Darvish deep. Will Smith and Justin Turner then followed up with solo shots off Darvish to set up the victory.

The Dodgers are now one off 50 wins for the season, moving to 49-28 and extending their lead in the NL over the New York Mets to 1.5 games.

Nolan Arenado sparked a record string of home runs and hit the game-winning drive for the St. Louis Cardinals, in their 7-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

With two outs in the first inning, Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Dylan Carson sent Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson deep, making it the first time in MLB history a team connected for four straight home runs in the opening frame.

The game was tied at 6-6 in the ninth inning when Arenado then hit another home run, this time sending Seranthony Dominguez over left field.

Arenado's game-winning performance from four at-bats was impressive enough in isolation, before considering it was backing up from hitting for cycle in Friday's 5-3 defeat to the Phillies.

The Cardinals moved to within a game of the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, moving their record for the season to 44-36.

Yankees sweep Guardians in double-header 

The New York Yankees are running away with the American League East, taking both games in a double-header against the Cleveland Guardians.

Matt Carpenter homered twice in the opening 13-4 win, before Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton hit consecutive home runs and Nestor Cortes shut the Guardians down for six innings, for the 6-1 win in the later game.

The Yankees are 25-6 since May 31, holding a seven-game lead over the Houston Astros in the AL and at 58-21, hold the franchise's second-best record over 79 games.

Freeman leads Dodgers to victory

Freddie Freeman continued his strong form for the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting the first of three home runs in the opening inning of their 7-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Freeman, who leads the Dodgers for OBP at .391 for the season, hit his sixth home run since the start of June after sending Yu Darvish deep. Will Smith and Justin Turner then followed up with solo shots off Darvish to set up the victory.

The Dodgers are now one off 50 wins for the season, moving to 49-28 and extending their lead in the NL over the New York Mets to 1.5 games.

For the second straight day a Pittsburgh Pirates player has hit three home runs in an 8-7 win – this time with Michael Perez starring against the Milwaukee Brewers.

On Wednesday it was Bryan Reynolds hitting three home runs in an 8-7 win against the Washington Nationals, and Thursday's game started in fine fashion for the Pirates at home, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning.

Those runs came first through a monster 431-foot, two-run blast from Oneil Cruz as he continues to make his case as arguably the most exciting youngster in baseball, before Jack Suwinski followed up with a 412-foot solo shot as the very next batter.

The Brewers fought back in the next couple of frames, with Christian Yelich's RBI triple and Omar Narvaez's RBI double helping to even the score at 3-3 in the fourth inning, and that is where Perez began his memorable night.

In the bottom of the fourth, Perez connected on a 377-foot, two-run homer, driving in Suwinski, and with Suwinski on base again in the sixth inning, Perez repeated the act, this time with a 391-foot, two-run smack.

Perez's longest hit of the game came in the eighth frame, extending his side's lead to 8-4 with a 408-foot solo homer.

With his third long ball of the game, Perez matched his season total entering the contest, and the third turned out to be crucial as the Brewers were able to drive in three runs in the ninth inning, ultimately falling short.

Adding salt to the wounds for the Brewers was starting pitcher Adrian Houser being forced to leave the game in the third inning due to elbow tightness, with the bullpen going on to give up five runs in the last five-and-two-thirds innings.

Guardians walk it off

The Cleveland Guardians only collected three hits in their 5-3 win against the Minnesota Twins, but they saved the best for last.

Twins pitchers Chris Archer, Tyler Duffey and Jovani Moran combined to hold the Guardians to just one hit through the first seven innings – although Archer did hand out six walks.

The Guardians were able to tie things up at 3-3 in the eighth inning as two runs came home on a fielding error from Carlos Correa, setting the table for Andres Gimenez to be the hero in the bottom of the ninth, connecting on a 411-foot, two-run, walk-off blast. 

Astros beat the Yankees again

The New York Yankees are 6-3 in their past nine games, but all three losses have come against the Houston Astros after Thursday's 2-1 defeat.

Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia put in an excellent showing, giving up one run in five-and-a-third innings, holding the Yankees to three hits and two walks from 101 pitches, striking out six.

Houston's only scoring play of the game came in the third inning, with Alex Bregman's two-run double, while the Yankees' sole run came from an Anthony Rizzo homer as the last batter before Garcia was withdrawn.

Pittsburgh Pirates center-fielder Bryan Reynolds hit three home runs to carry his side to an 8-7 away win against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

The Nationals had it all working at the plate, collecting 16 hits compared to nine for the Pirates, but Reynolds' power made the difference.

Reynolds connected on his first home run as the second batter of the game, following up Ke'Bryan Hayes' base hit with a 389-foot shot to make it 2-0.

Washington would tie things up later in the first inning thanks to RBI hits from Nelson Cruz and Keibert Ruiz, and star right-fielder Juan Soto got in on the action in the second frame, putting the Nationals up 3-2 with his RBI double.

After Pittsburgh's Daniel Vogelbach hit a 400-foot home run, and the Nationals drove in three more through Ruiz, Cesar Hernandez and Yadiel Hernandez, Reynolds returned to the plate in the sixth inning, trailing 6-4.

His 420-foot solo home run trimmed the margin to 6-5, and followed it up an inning later with a three-run, 389-foot bomb to jump ahead 8-6.

Yadiel Hernandez made things interesting down the stretch when his home run brought the Nationals back to within one run, but Yerry De Los Santos was able to protect the lead and register his first save of the season for the Pirates.

Pirates super-prospect Oneil Cruz was quiet, with no hits, but he was walked twice from his four at-bats, and also reached base on a fielding error.

Judge blasts another in Yankees win

Only one player has more than 23 home runs this season, and Aaron Judge added to his league-leading tally as he crushed his 29th long ball in a 5-3 home win against the Oakland Athletics.

The Athletics started hot as they chained together four hits in the opening inning, highlighted by a two-run double for Stephen Piscotty to lead 3-0.

They would not score in the final eight frames as Yankees starter Jameson Taillon found his footing, and the bullpen combination of Lucas Luetge, Miguel Castro and Clay Holmes allowed just two hits and no walks in the final four innings.

Judge's home run also came in the first inning - a 429-foot, two-run launch as the Yankees' second batter of the game - before Giancarlo Stanton added three more runs with his 391-foot homer in the third inning. Stanton is also top 10 in home runs this season, with 19, while fellow Yankee Anthony Rizzo has 20.

Ohtani pitches a gem for the Angels

Shohei Ohtani struck out 11 batters in the Los Angeles Angels' 4-1 win against the Chicago White Sox, continuing his charge towards back-to-back AL MVPs.

Ohtani – who is also tied for 13th in the league with 17 home runs as a hitter – is now eighth in the league for total strikeouts as a pitcher (101) after a career-high 13 in his last start against the Kansas City Royals.

He held the White Sox scoreless through five-and-two-thirds innings, giving up five hits and one walk as he registered at least 10 strikeouts for the fifth time in his past 11 starts.

Kyle Tucker led the way to set up strong performances from Yordan Alvarez and Framber Valdez for the Houston Astros, who secured a 9-1 win over the New York Mets on Tuesday.

Tucker crushed a three-run home run off Carlos Carrasco at the top of the first inning, with the Astros taking the eventual 4-0 lead.

Leading the team for batting average (.321) and OBP (.415), and the major leagues for OPS (1.082), Alvarez reached base five times in claiming three hits and two RBIs.

In contrast to Carrasco for the Mets, Valdez was solid on the mound, striking out five and giving up six hits to pitch eight scoreless innings, with Enoli Paredes cleaning up in the last.

The Astros claimed the third of five games in this six-game New York stand with the win, before heading back to Houston to play the American League-leading Yankees.

Sears scorches A's in Yankees win

The Yankees maintained their lead in the American League (AL) and extended their record for the season to 55-20, defeating the Oakland Athletics 2-1.

J.P. Sears was in impressive form in only his second major league start, limiting the A's to three hits, while striking out and walking one each over 78 pitches, before he was pulled during the sixth inning.

Jose Trevino provided early support with an RBI single in the first off Frankie Montas, before Marwin Gonzalez homered in the second.

Polanco returns as Twins, Guardians split double-header

Jorge Polanco drove in three runs in his first game back from injury, as the Minnesota Twins claimed a 6-0 win in Tuesday's second game against the Cleveland Guardians.

Having lost 3-2 in the early game, the Twins restored their lead over the Guardians in the AL Central to three games, with Polanco scoring a two-run home run off rookie Konnor Pilkington in the second inning.

Byron Buxton claimed his 20th home run for the season, going long off Anthony Castro in the ninth inning. Jose Miranda also connected in the sixth inning for the Twins.

Sonny Gray pitched seven scoreless innings as the Minnesota Twins stretched their lead atop the American League Central on Monday, trouncing the Cleveland Guardians 11-1.

Gray was in solid form for the Twins despite only striking out three, giving up only three hits over 97 pitches in those seven innings.

The biggest surprise of the night was the Twins dominating at the plate without a big performance from Luis Arraez, who went zero-for-three on the night. Gary Sanchez's three-run home run in the second inning off Triston McKenzie helped set up the win.

Nick Gordon and Carlos Correa each added home runs in the first a high-profile five-game series in the AL Central.

With the opening win, the Twins extended their lead in the division to three games over the Guardians, who have now lost their last five games.

Yankees leave it late against A's

Josh Donaldson hit a two-run double to spark a winning six-run sixth inning for the New York Yankees, who claimed a 9-5 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Trailing 5-3 coming into the bottom of the sixth, the Pinstripes were able to rally on the back of catcher's interference calls, a hit batter and a walk to set Donaldson's double up and the eventual win.

The Yankees moved to 54-20 for the season, extending their lead over the Houston Astros in the American League to eight games.

Yepez and Cards crush Marlins

The St. Louis Cardinals moved to within a game of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central, shutting out the Miami Marlins 9-0.

Cardinals designated hitter Juan Yepez had the first multi-home run game of his career, going long off Pablo Lopez and Richard Bleier in the fourth and sixth innings respectively.

Paul Goldschmidt now leads the major leagues for batting average (.347) and OBP (.429) after claiming four hits from as many at-bats.

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge continued to mount his case for AL MVP on Sunday as he crushed a three-run, walk-off home run to complete a 6-3 comeback win against the Houston Astros.

All the momentum was with the Astros early coming off Saturday's meeting where they became the first team in 19 years to hold the Yankees hit-less, and they added to that history to begin this contest.

Jose Altuve gave the Astros a 1-0 lead with a first-inning home run, before the road team jumped ahead 3-0 with a two-RBI single to Maurcio Dubon in the fourth frame.

The Yankees did not have a hit through six-and-a-third innings – making it a streak of 52 at-bats without a hit, the longest dry spell by any team since 1974.

Giancarlo Stanton finally broke the seal with a 436-foot solo homer in the seventh frame, before D.J. LeMahieu tied things up with a two-run shot an inning later.

Neither team was able to find a run in the ninth, forcing extra innings, where Michael King was able to keep the Astros from scoring, setting up Judge to connect on the walk-off winner in the bottom of the 10th.

Judge is the current favourite for AL MVP, and the home run was his 28th of the season – six more than any other player.

Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes put in a solid performance, striking out seven batters in five innings while conceding three earned runs from five hits and two walks.

Astros starter Jose Urquidy was even better, allowing just one run from one hit through seven complete innings.

With the win, the Yankees move their league-best record to 53-20, leading the second-placed New York Mets by six-and-a-half games.

McClanahan shows Cy Young quality

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan has emerged as the top choice for the AL Cy Young Award as the league's most outstanding pitcher, and he dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates in his side's 4-2 win.

McClanahan struck out 10 batters, holding the Pirates to one run from four hits and no walks through his seven full innings.

His dominance was rewarded, keeping the Rays tied at 1-1 until the seventh inning when they would finally find their rhythm and string together three consecutive two-out hits to make sure McClanahan had the lead before he was withdrawn, and was thus credited with the win.

White Sox issue Cease and desist to Orioles offense

Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease was at the top of his game on what turned out to be a great Sunday for star pitchers, striking out a career-high 13 batters in a 4-3 home win against the Baltimore Orioles.

His 13 strikeouts in seven complete innings was one shy of this season's most strikeouts in a game, set by Miami Marlins star Sandy Alcantara when he sat down 14 batters against the Atlanta Braves last month.

With the bat, the White Sox jumped ahead in the second inning courtesy of a two-run Gavin Sheets homer, and they held that lead throughout.

This is shaping up to be a season to remember for the New York Yankees, but they made history for all the wrong reasons on Sunday.

The Yankees, who boast the best record in the major leagues in 2022, had been held to a combined no-hitter by the Houston Astros in Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Yankee Stadium.

But rather than come out firing in the teams' next meeting the following day, the Yankees threatened to suffer the ignominy of a stunning second consecutive no-no.

Jose Urquidy frustrated the home team for 6.1 innings before Giancarlo Stanton finally made good contact and homered 436 feet to center field.

That was the Yankees' first hit since the eighth inning of Friday's 3-1 home loss to the Astros, a streak of 52 consecutive at-bats – the longest run by a batting team without a hit since at least 1974.

It also tied the record for the most at-bats without a pitching team allowing a hit over the same period.

The Astros matched the feats of the 2012 Los Angeles Angels against the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays and the 2014 Los Angeles Dodgers against the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds.

Houston own the only two no-hitters against the Yankees this century, with Saturday's hitless game following a 2003 no-no at Yankee Stadium.

Houston Astros pitchers Cristian Javier, Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly combined for a stunning no-hitter in their 3-0 win over the New York Yankees on Saturday.

Javier set career highs for pitches (115) and strikeouts (13) after walking Josh Donaldson on a full count in the first at-bat, before Astros manager Dusty Baker brought Neris in to start the eighth inning.

Pressly, who gave up the game-tying three-run home run to Aaron Hicks in Thursday's loss to the Yankees, retired three-straight in the ninth for his 15th save out of 18.

Astros rookie JJ Matijevic gave the Astros the lead in the seventh inning with his second homer in the major leagues, sending Gerrit Cole deep over right-field.

Jose Altuve followed that up with a home run of his own in the eighth but Yuli Gurriel added an RBI single in the ninth, as the Astros took their second game of three in the high-profile four-game series.

Harper breaks thumb as Appel makes Phillies roster

While Mark Appel's promotion to the Philadelphia Phillies' roster was the main topic pre-game, nine years after he was selected in 2013 MLB Draft, it was overshadowed by Bryce Harper's broken thumb in their 4-2 win over the San Diego Padres.

The reigning National League MVP will be out indefinitely after a wild fast-ball from Padres starter Blake Snell tagged him on the left hand.

Alec Bohm and JT Realmuto led the way in Harper's absence, with Bohm claiming two hits and RBI from four at-bats and Realmuto's home run off Snell setting up a three-run fifth inning.

Archer and Twins combine for one-hitter

Chris Archer was instrumental as the Minnesota Twins claimed top spot in the American League Central, as they secured a 6-0 victory against the Colorado Rockies.

On a limited pitch count, Archer gave up just one hit and struck out five over 78 pitches in five innings, before Jharrel Cotton, Griffin Jax and Tyler Thornberg shut the Rockies out.

Leading the major leagues in batting average (.347) and OBP (.426), Luis Arraez claimed two hits and an RBI from five at-bats to help secure the win, moving the Twins to 40-33 for the year.

Houston Astros manager praised his pitching staff for a Saturday he will "never forget" after they combined for a no-hitter against the New York Yankees for the first time in nearly two decades.

Astros starter Cristian Javier led the way for seven innings in the win, notching up a career-high 13 strikeouts while shutting down the best team in baseball.

The no-hitter is the 14th in Astros franchise history and the third combined no-hitter for the club.

Javier walked Josh Donaldson on a full count in the first inning, then retired 17 consecutive batters before Donaldson reached on an error in the seventh. Baker pulled Javier at a career-high 115 pitches at the end of the inning.

"The whole thing about pitching is control, control, control," Baker said. "Everybody talks about velocity all the time, but the velocity without command and control is no good.

"That was the key, getting ahead of the hitters. And he was getting ahead of some pretty good hitters, real good hitters over there. So, boy, that's a day that he'll never forget. Nor us, either."

Hector Neris encountered some drama in the eighth inning, walking Aaron Hicks and DJ LeMahieu before sitting down Joey Gallo and Aaron Judge to get out of the jam.

"I said, 'I have to get it for my team, I have to get it for Javy," Neris said post-game.

Ryan Pressly finished the feat with a flawless ninth inning, blocking out the memory of Thursday’s outing against the Yankees, in which he allowed a three-run home run in a 7-6 loss.

"I lost a lot of sleep [Thursday] night," Pressly said. "I was pretty upset with myself and felt like I let the team down. I wanted to come out here and show my teammates that they can trust me and go out there and take care of business."

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole nearly match Javier’s effectiveness, not allowing the game’s first run until a JJ Matijevic solo home run with two outs in the seventh.

Cole tossed seven innings in all, allowing four hits and just the one run. New York relievers Michael King and Lucas Luetge each gave up a run in the 3-0 Astros victory.

"The cold, hard truth is we got outpitched and outplayed," Cole said. "Magical day for them."

A big performance from New York Mets star Francisco Lindor helped his side conquer the Miami Marlins and their ace pitcher Sandy Alcantara 5-3 away from home.

Lindor struck in the very first inning, grinding out an eight-pitch at-bat before connecting on a 404-foot solo home run to center-field.

It was also a poor beginning to the game for Mets starter Taijuan Walker, giving up four consecutive base hits to the Marlins' first four batters, but he was able to get out of the first inning only conceding one run to keep things tied. 

Alcantara, who is the favourite to win the Cy Young Award as most outstanding pitcher in his conference, found his footing through the middle stages, not allowing a baserunner through the second, third and fourth inning.

He only gave up two hits and no walks through the first five innings, but the second hit – courtesy of Mark Canha in the fifth – also travelled over the fence, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead.

Just like the first frame, the Marlins did not allow the Mets to finish the inning in the lead, tying it at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth through a Jorge Soler RBI groundout.

The sixth inning is where the Mets won the game, with an infield single to lead-off, followed by a bunt for a hit, and then a fielding error to load the bases with no outs.

Lindor cashed in, with a bases-clearing, three-run double to bust the game open, opening up a winning break that the Mets bullpen was able to defend.

Alcantara ended up pitching seven complete innings, giving up four earned runs from five hits and no walks, doing enough to remain as one of four starting pitchers with an ERA still under 2.0 this season (1.95, giving up 23 earned runs in 106.1 innings).

Walker was credited with the win, coming back from his rough start to work through six innings, giving up three runs and striking out five.

Astros snap Yankees' home streak

The New York Yankees lost at home for the first time in their past 16 games at Yankee Stadium as the Houston Astros got the job done 3-1.

Both teams finished with five hits, and both teams had all their scoring come from a single home run in the sixth inning, but while Giancarlo Stanton's homer was a solo shot, Kyle Tucker's was a three-run blast after a double from Alex Bregman and a walk to Yordan Alvarez.

It was a terrific outing for Astros ace Justin Verlander, pitching seven complete innings for four hits and one walk.

Devers, Pivetta and the Red Sox stay hot

The Boston Red Sox have now won 17 of their past 21 games after a 6-3 road win against the Cleveland Guardians.

Nick Pivetta shined on the mound, giving up two runs in seven innings, allowing nine hits, but no walks.

With the bat, AL MVP candidate Rafael Devers delivered with a 411-foot solo home run to put the Red Sox ahead in the second inning, before Carlos Arroyo's two-run shot in the seventh frame finally gave Boston some breathing room.

The New York Yankees and star slugger Aaron Judge agreed to a one-year, $19million contract just hours before the two sides were scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Friday.

The deal represents a compromise between Judge, who is in his final year of arbitration eligibility, and the Yankees.

The three-time All-Star's representatives had been seeking a $21m salary for this season, while New York countered with a $17m offer.

Judge can also earn an additional $250,000 if he wins the American League MVP award and another $250,000 if named MVP of the World Series. 

The 30-year-old has emerged as an early MVP frontrunner as the leader of a Yankees team who own the majors' best record at 52-18.

Judge's 27 homers in 2022 are five more than any player, and he is batting a career-best .304 through 68 games. He also ranks third in the majors in OPS (1.037) and third in the AL with 53 RBIs.

Judge reportedly turned down a seven-year, $213.5m extension offer from the Yankees during spring training, and the six-foot-seven outfielder's stellar start to 2022 likely has him in line for a more lucrative payday when he reaches free agency in the offseason. 

Those 2022 numbers would not have impacted Judge's arbitration case, however, as any statistics after March 1 are not admissible per the agreement between MLB and the players' association that ended this past offseason's lockout.

Aaron Judge hit a game-winning single to cap a four-run ninth inning for the New York Yankees in their 7-6 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday.

Aaron Hicks started the late rally for the Pinstripes, tying the game with a three-run home run off Astros closer Ryan Pressly.

Alex Bregman and Giancarlo Stanton traded three-run homers in the first inning, while Yordan Alvarez also added a three-run shot in the third off Jameson Taillon to put the Astros ahead.

The Yankees took the opener of a highly anticipated four-game series between the American League's two best records with the win, as the Astros kick off a six-game stand in New York, taking both games from the Mets earlier this week in Houston.

The American League leaders moved to 52-18 for the season and claimed their 19th win in the past 22 games, heading into Judge's in-season salary arbitration on Friday.

Swanson seals win for Braves

Dansby Swanson hit two home runs for the Atlanta Braves, who were able to hold out against the San Francisco Giants in a 7-6 victory.

Swanson had three hits and three RBIs as the Braves built a 7-1 lead coming into the fifth inning. Six Giants players scored multiple hits, with Austin Slater's home run starting the rally in the fifth.

They were not able to capitalise on the higher hit count however, as the Braves moved 11 games over .500 with their 18th win in the past month.

Freeman fires Dodgers to victory

Freddie Freeman's form continued in the absence of Mookie Betts, leading the way for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 10-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Freeman claimed a home run and three RBIs, moving his OBP for the season to a team-leading .386, while Max Muncy and Trea Turner each tallied three hits.

Clayton Kershaw allowed just one run and seven hits in six innings for the National League West leaders, striking out seven in 80 pitches and lowering his ERA for the season to 2.00.

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