No matter what the outcome is, the World Series will end by Sunday which means the Yankees‘ offseason will kick into high gear. Now, the bombers are already working behind the scenes as Hal Steinbrenner is contemplating whether or not to give GM Brian Cashman another contract.
Most believe that Cashman will be back, but I’m frankly a little surprised it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe Hal is trying to cool down the fans before announcing or perhaps Cashman will stay with the organization just in a new role. Who knows, but more importantly, there’s work to be done with the players.
Priority number one is superstar Aaron Judge. If I’m Hal Steinbrenner, I would’ve had Judge and his family over for dinner in Tampa and basically said, “Whatever it takes, you’re a Yankee for life”. Of course, that’s not how Hal Steinbrenner operates. Unlike his father, he’s calculated and not emotional which really eats at the fans because of the perceived lack of passion.
That being said, Hal should be smart enough to know that Aaron Judge means more than just the Yankees product on the field. He is the cash cow that drives revenues for New York and without him, there’s not a great secondary option.
Arguably the second most popular Yankee on the team this year was Anthony Rizzo. The first baseman who played gold glove level defense while hitting 32 homers. Rizzo is expected to opt-out of his contract making him a free agent.
Yankees’ West Coast Threat
In sending out some feeler messages, the Yankees would love to have Anthony Rizzo back. Judge is a given so there’s no reason to even ask the question amongst writing circles. New York loves the leadership and defense that Rizzo brought to the club. Plus a lefty bat tailor made for the ballpark always pleases the front office.
While New York would love those two back, there’s one team in California that wants to steal both. That team is the San Francisco Giants. Randy Miller of NJ.com who covers the Yankees believes that San Fran will sign both and also take Trea Turner away from the Dodgers to up their chances of winning.
Aaron Judge grew up just a short drive away from the Giants. He grew up a die-hard Giants fan and his parents still live in the area. He went to high school with his wife in that area. Simply put, the Giants are home for Aaron Judge. California was home for Gerrit Cole, but his dream was to be a Yankee. Aaron Judge dreamed of being a Giant like Barry Bonds.
Despite all the positives around San Francisco for Judge, many believe it’ll take more to convince Judge to leave the Yankees. Judge looks at himself as a leader and he feels there’s unfinished business in New York. He also wants to win and just signing Judge doesn’t make the Giants a winner.
That is where the likes of Anthony Rizzo and Trea Turner come into play. Rizzo is one of Judge’s best friends. If the Giants can sign him away from New York and add in another free agent or two, the offer gets even better for Judge to go back home.
My opinion doesn’t matter and I don’t have sources like the big guys. I’ve just made a lot of writing connections with guys that know a fair amount. From what I’ve gathered, pretty much everyone outside of Randy Miller thinks Judge remains with the Yankees. This isn’t a Robinson Cano situation. This is like Derek Jeter hitting the open market.
All that being said, the Giants threat is real. As Yankee fans, we could be looking at a reality of Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo leaving for San Fran. Unlike New York, San Francisco appears content with overpaying for both guys. If money is the deciding factor, New York could be in trouble.