The MLB Winter Meetings are underway, which means that the Aaron Judge sweepstakes are heating up, with the New York Yankees at the center of attention on Monday.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who was given a four-year contract extension by New York on Monday, said that Judge’s camp has given no indication that the Yankees will have a surefire opportunity to match or outbid another grand’s final offer, per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.
Judge and Cashman have no scheduled in-person meetings together at this time. However, according to Cashman, the Yankees are still in contact with Judge’s representatives and have made a handful of offers to the 2022 AL MVP.
Cashman spoke at the Winter Meetings on Monday and provided some insight on his offseason plans surrounding Judge, signaling the strong desire to have Judge back in pinstripes next season.
“Listen, if Aaron Judge signs somewhere else, do we pivot and do something else? Do we remake ourselves completely? I have no idea. It’s not what we want to do.”Brian Cashman via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com
Aaron Judge has started a bidding war between the Yankees and Giants:
The Yankees and the Giants have been the clear heavyweights in a tug-of-war match for the superstar outfielder, but MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand said on Monday to be on the lookout for a so-called “mystery team” or two to emerge and enter the running for Judge.
- Yankees still have a big starting pitching decision to figure out
- Yankees can still land top remaining free-agent left-fielder if asking price comes down
- Yankees settle with Gleyber Torres on one-year deal, avoiding arbitration
Those mystery teams could be anybody, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox are two dark horse teams that could potentially swoop in and make an enticing offer to Judge.
Judge has close ties to both of the heavyweight contenders in his pursuit, which explains why they are, in fact, the frontrunners in the sweepstakes.
Both the Yankees and the Giants are expected to offer him contracts in the area of eight or nine years and around $300 million, which likely means that Judge’s next contract will take him to the end of his career.
Judge is from California and grew up watching the San Francisco Giants, so signing with them would bring him and his family closer to his hometown.
His relationship with the Yankees is more illustrious. Along with making four all-star teams and winning Rookie of The Year, Judge had one of the best individual seasons of any big league player ever in 2022, hitting 62 home runs – setting a new AL record previously held for 61 years by another former Yankee, Roger Maris – and nearly winning the batting title, which led him to his first ever AL MVP Award.
Judge has already made his mark in the prestigious New York Yankees organization. His free agency decision could change the whole dynamic of the team’s future and as Cashman states, could force them to take a new direction this offseason.
“The way this winter is going to play out, it could take us down a lot of different roads we didn’t expect.”Brian Cashman via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com
The Winter Meetings last until this Wednesday, and with key free agents like Justin Verlander and Trea Turner already signing with new ball clubs this week, all eyes are on Judge, who is widely expected around the league to make his final decision by the conclusion of the meetings on Wednesday.
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