Aaron Judge is currently in the Bay Area for the Thanksgiving holiday, which he combined with a meeting with the San Francisco Giants to kick off his free agency tour.
Future of Aaron Judge is a major concern right now
After a historic offensive season — literally one of the top 25 of all time — Judge earned a free agency tour.
For those worried New York Yankees fans, this was an unavoidable outcome, unless he was offered $400 million to stay in the Bronx. That was not going to happen.
Could the Yankees have made a better pre-season deal? Absolutely. But they were never going to meet Judge’s rumored demands back then unless he ran another full, healthy campaign.
Whether he wants to leave or not, he should sit back, relax, and see what everyone else has to offer. Enjoy the expensive bottles of wine, swag bags, free tickets, meeting sports legends, and so on. Have fun with whatever you do.
But… could it all be a ruse? Is Judge prancing around town solely to enjoy his time as the belle of the ball while the never-ending pressure of being a Yankee subsides for a few weeks?
Why do we think that? Because respected MLB insider Jeff Passan doesn’t believe Judge has any other options besides staying with the only team he’s ever known.
All signs point to Aaron Judge returning to the Yankees, according to Jeff Passan.
“I have no reason to believe otherwise yet. Everything points to [Aaron Judge] staying with the New York Yankees.”
“I think he enjoyed being a New York Yankee and that the benefits outweighed the detriments … I think the Yankees, when all’s said and done, have the most money to pay him … and I think the Yankees have the greatest incentive of any team to bring him back. Without Aaron Judge — they’re a flawed baseball team right now — they are nowhere close to what they can be.”
Passan also mentioned that the Giants have never paid anyone more than $200 million and that Farhan Zaidi, the team’s president of baseball operations who came up with the A’s, may not be willing to spend a large sum to entice Judge if a bidding war breaks out.
He also stated that the Dodgers are unlikely to be a threat unless Judge’s market fails to materialize (which is when they would swoop in and presumably offer the short-term high-AAV deal fans have been accustomed to seeing from them). He doesn’t believe LA would be willing to spend much more than $200 million to make it happen.
Judge was widely reported not to be expected to sign any deal before the winter meetings, so that was already one reason Yankees fans could have a stress-free Thanksgiving and remember the slugger in their pre-dinner prayers.
Maybe mention Jeff Passan when saying grace, too, because he certainly helped to relieve some of the fanbase’s concerns about Judge being courted by the only team that appeared to be a true threat to the Yankees in free agency.