Is there a world where the New York Yankees lose star slugger Aaron Judge to the New York Mets just one train ride away?
General manager Brian Cashman and Judge’s representatives failed to come to a conclusion on a contract extension, but that doesn’t mean negotiations have completely failed.
Judge has started off the 2022 season hitting .281 with one homer and one RBI, striking out just 21.6% of the time, which would be a career low. Overall, Judge has performed well despite making a minimal impact with his home-run hitting abilities. Defensively, Judge has been stout, offering the Yankees a reliable tower in the outfield.
The Yankees offered Judge a deal that would’ve paid him $30.5 million per year, but he elected to reject the seven-year contract, betting on himself. While the big slugger was disappointed to lose out on an opportunity to extend his stay with the Bombers for the foreseeable future, there’s still plenty of time for the two sides to get a deal done next off-season.
However, other teams will also have an opportunity to steal Judge away from the Bronx, but would the Mets really get involved in a blockbuster deal?
Jon Heyman made a solid argument against the Mets targeting Judge next offseason as a big free-agent signing, stating:
Beyond the long-established Bronx-born bromance between general managers Brian Cashman and Billy Eppler, which already resulted in a trade of relievers, an intracity exchange that occurs only slightly more often than a Subway World Series, let’s face reality here. Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner was an early, consistent supporter of Cohen’s initially iffy bid to win the Mets. Does anyone really believe Cohen would repay Steinbrenner by stealing his best player?
“He wouldn’t do that to the Yankees,” a source told the NY Post.
There is little evidence to support the Mets would be willing to conjure a massive contract for Judge except for the fact that Steve Cohen is just about willing to spend any amount of money to build a championship caliber team.
As manager Aaron Boone said last year, the rest of the league is quickly catching up to the Yankees, and most would agree they’re already falling behind.