Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton react to Home Run Derby’s $2.5M purse
Major League Baseball recently announced an increased purse for the Home Run Derby, with $2.5 million available overall and $1 million going to the winner.
The move was inspired by MLB’s desire to generate more interest among sluggers to complete in the event, which has seen decreasing star power over the years.
New York Yankees teammates Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, consecutive winners of the long-ball skills competition in 2017 and 2016, respectively, have been ambivalent at best above ever taking part in another Home Run Derby.
The two sluggers were recently asked whether the bigger-money purse has inspired them to perhaps lean towards another Derby appearance.
The answer? Not so much.
Judge has long stated he plans to be “one and done” when it comes to the annual All-Star Game event. He later expressed no regrets over an attempt to defend his title in 2018, either.
That continues to be how Judge views things, as he joked he wishes MLB “would’ve made this change a couple of years ago,” according to the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff.
“I’d consider it,” said Judge, who will earn a salary of $684,300 this year, “but I’d probably still wait until it’s back in New York.”
Stanton, meanwhile, has competed in the Home Run Derby twice, his winning performance in 2016 and an attempt to defend his title at his then-hometown Marlins Park in 2017, the year Judge won.
“I always enjoy doing it,” Stanton said of the Derby. “It just depends on where I’m at in the season and how I feel. That’s the most important thing.”
Both Stanton and Judge agree that the significantly larger purse — the winner used to net a $150,000 prize — will generate increased interest, even if it does not inspire it in them, with Judge pointing out how big of a payday it could be for a younger player.
“That’ll definitely entice a couple of more guys to definitely participate, that type of prize money, man,” Judge said. “Especially those of us on the league minimum. That would double our salary in one event. That would be pretty cool.”