While the New York Yankees managed to retain slugger Aaron Judge on a nine-year, $360 million deal, they were moments away from losing his services to the San Diego Padres, who made a last-minute offer that trumped any team.
The primary reason why Aaron Judge flew to San Diego on Tuesday was to meet with the San Diego Padres. They offered him $400 million over 10 years. Judge stays put in New York for $360 million over nine years.Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
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The Yankees had to pull out all the stop to keep Aaron Judge around:
At the end of the day, owner Hal Steinbrenner gave Judge a call on Tuesday night, convincing him to return to the Bronx and finish his career donning the pinstripes. Judge will be 39 years old when his deal eventually expires, earning an average of $40 million per season with unparalleled brand awareness.
However, the Padres were ready to cough up $400 million for Judge, showcased by their 11-year, $280 million deal for Xander Bogaerts, previously of the Boston Red Sox. The Padres immediately turned their attention toward the star shortstop once they missed out on Judge, which is likely what the Yankees would’ve done if a similar scenario unfolded.
However, the San Francisco Giants and Yankees were the only two teams reported to be in on Judge, which is why the Padres coming out of left field was certainly an exciting addition in the final hour.
Nonetheless, general manager Brian Cashman managed to get it done, bringing back a player who hit .311 with a 42.5% on-base rate, including 62 homers and 131 RBIs this past season. Judge is coming off one of the best campaigns in the history of the game, and while we shouldn’t expect him to replicate those numbers, even his career average is incredibly impressive and worth every penny.