Aaron Judge had the best season of his career at just the right time. Just as he was approaching free agency, Judge hit an AL-record breaking 62 home runs, setting himself up for a handsome payday. Plenty of teams will definitely find the prospect of adding Judge to their lineup to be an enticing one, but the list of suitors for the 6’7 slugger has been narrowed down to two: the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants.
In fact, the Yankees and Giants are extremely neck-and-neck in the race for Judge’s signature. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi even said that the chances of Judge landing with either team is close to “50/50”.
“The Giants are a very realistic possibility. This is not a Yankees at 70 percent likelihood and the Giants at 30. I think we are very close to 50/50 where if the Giants really step up and get that AAV up closer to 40 million dollars a year, there’s a legitimate chance that Aaron Judge becomes a San Francisco Giant,” Morosi said.
(Skip to around the 4:54 mark of the video below.)
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 1, 2022
Aaron Judge reportedly already has an estimated eight-year, $300 million offer from the Yankees, which would make him the highest-paid player in the entire MLB based on AAV. However, it seems as if Judge is holding out for more – a justifiable direction to take given Judge’s 2022 performance. Moreover, Judge is already 30 years old, and this contract could be the last big money deal he signs for his career.
Nonetheless, Morosi also mentioned that he believes that Judge will only spurn the Yankees for the Giants if San Francisco ends up adding more pieces to a team that finished with an 81-81 record.
“I really believe Aaron Judge won’t sign with the Giants unless there is a credible and actionable plan to put a winning team around him,” Morosi added.
The Giants will have stiff competition for the NL West crown, especially with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres’ contending windows still wide open. However, it’s not as if the Yankees are also guaranteed a playoff spot in the AL East, given the presence of the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays, teams that made the postseason as well in 2022, along with the emerging Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox, who are always willing to spend to get back to contending ways.
Thus, a 50/50 split between the Yankees and Giants’ chances in terms of signing Aaron Judge seems just about right.