Aaron Judge is having an MVP season. Will he leave the Bronx this year?
Aaron Judge Is Earning His Extension
Aaron Judge has dealt with nasty, consistent injuries in the past few seasons. This had gotten him labeled as injury prone and even made the Yankees hesitant to sign him to a long-term deal. But this year, he put it all together and dominated so far. So far on the season, he is hitting .282, the highest in his career since his MVP-caliber rookie season, with 29 home runs already before the all-star break. He is leading the AL MVP vote at the moment as well because the Yankees firmly have the best record in all of baseball. But now it begs the question, will he return next season?
Dating back to the beginning of free agency, there were disputes about whether or not they’d be able to get the deal done. Judge seemed adamant about getting the deal done, but the Yankees seemed uninterested in retaining their star, franchise player. But they want to get it done now, after the season he has had, but for all we know, he might turn it around and say, “I want out.” So, where would he go if the deal didn’t get done? If not retained by the Bronx, I’m posing three possible places he could sign.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants have been a very solid, budget team the last couple of years, with their biggest move being signing Carlos Rodon this off-season. But this seems like the exact big splash move they could make. Unfortunately, they are stuck in a division with two teams poised to be great for at least the next five years in the San Diego Padres, and Los Angeles Dodgers. If they want to keep up with them, they need to go out and get that big player. Judge could be exactly that signing for the Giants.
It would also make perfect sense for their team moving forward. While Judge is 30, that isn’t that old in baseball years. It would make sense to see Judge get a massive six-year contract to go to the bay and compete in that division. With Yastrzemski, Crawford, and Pederson still there, and we all know how much they love a true face of their franchise, it would make sense to see Judge head to San Francisco.
New York Mets
Wouldn’t this be interesting? This would make much sense for Judge if he opted to leave. First, he wouldn’t have to move his house at all, maybe change his commute. Second, the owner of the Mets, Steve Cohen, has said he wants to go out and pay big money for absolutely anyone. Given that Judge turned down around 30 million a year from the Yankees earlier this season, it would be insane to see what Cohen could give him. The best part? He’d still be a part of a winner. The Mets still hold the lead in their division despite their two bet players being injured.
But how likely is it? This is the question we should be asking. Judge loves the Yankees and their fanbase (from what we’ve seen); why would he throw it all away and go to one of their biggest rivals. The answer is money. It always is. The Mets have a more cost-effective team that does a bit less for a lot less money. Cohen could end up overpaying him, giving him a contract that could reach 400 million territories.
Boston Red Sox
This would be one of the biggest plot twists in the most significant sports rivalry. Judge has become the first true face of the franchise since the retirement of “The Captain” aka Derek Jeter, and it would be excruciating to see him go to their true biggest rival. But in terms of places to be, Boston is hard to beat if you aren’t LA or New York. Bright future with stars in Devers and Bogaerts, historic stadium with a short porch, and you’d get to play your former team a lot. It would be perfectly in line for Boston and Judge.
But again, the practicality comes into question. Would they be able to offer enough to draw him away, or would they be enticing enough for him to leave his home. I doubt he would, but knowing the Red Sox, and their attempts to screw the Yankees, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a run at Judge.