The New York Yankees face a serious problem out west with Aaron Judge meeting with the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. San Francisco is keen on signing the superstar slugger coming off a historic campaign, hitting 62 homers with 131 RBIs.
Judge immediately makes an average team a playoff contender, and the Giants have plenty of financial flexibility to continue spending and building around him moving forward. Considering he grew up in California and watched the Giants as a kid, they clearly have a sentimental place in his heart. However, the Yankees were the team that drafted him and developed him into the superstar he is today, which certainly holds value as well.
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According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Giants were elated by their visit with Judge, certainly creating a bit of frustration within the Yankees’ brass, who are patiently waiting for him to return east.
The Giants are clearly gung-ho in their efforts and said to be “elated” by their visit this week with Judge, but the idea they hold an advantage as his “hometown” team seems specious; he’s from Linden, Calif., two hours and a lifestyle away. (Judge actually lives now in Tampa, which is Yankees territory.)
The Yankees need to act quickly to get their post-Aaron Judge strategy in shape:
General manager Brian Cashman’s already indicated that the Yankees are on the clock regarding a contract extension, already presenting new offers along the way. Of course, Judge’s representatives are looking to create a bidding war and drive up his price tag, which is only fair given his value.
The Bombers certainly aren’t going to get a hometown discount, but owner Hal Steinbrenner is confident that they will do whatever it takes to retain arguably the league’s best player.
The expectation still remains that Aaron will stay with the Yankees, but it can’t hurt to test his options and create some unsettling nerves within the Yankees’ ranks. Nonetheless, Cashman will go down fighting and will likely have the last chance to extend him before he makes his decision. If it comes down to years, the Yankees can’t be afraid to tack on an extra one, especially since Judge represented their entire offense during the second half of the 2022 season.