Aaron Judge named AL MVP: What teams are the favourite to sign him for next season?
After hitting an American League record 62 home runs in the 2022 MLB season, the New York Yankees outfielder is set to become a free agent.
Who will sign Aaron Judge this offseason? The million-dollar question still stands unanswered, despite the effort of the media to find out which team shirt will wear this year’s American League most valuable player.
Despite Judge offering vague answers about his future all year long, the New York Yankees stay the favorite to re-sign him. However, other teams, including the San Francisco Giants, have emerged as likely wooers.
The Yankees need him more than any other team in MLB. Not only for his capability on the field but also for his off-the-field marketability. Just like Derek Jeter and his astonishing career on the field, the innumerous support that comes with the New York spotlight is similar to what Judge brings to the franchise.
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants have appeared as a severe threat to the Yankees. Giants fans have been crying for their team to make a move to get him back home to the West Coast, and the nerve has done very little to mute the sound. It makes sense considering that Judge is a California kid. Born and raised in Sacramento, Judge even attended California State University, Fresno College, where the Yankees drafted him in the 1st round in 2013.
“As you know, we have a lot of flexibility coming into this offseason, and we’re well aware of the (free agent) shortstops and the person who can hit in the Bronx that is out there,” Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said in his end-of-season press conference.
The Giants are one of a handful of teams that have the financial capacity to offer over $350 million to persuade Judge to leave New York.
Los Angeles Dodgers - the California connection is also a likely factor, as it is with San Francisco, but so would the Dodgers’ track record and readiness to pay Judge after giving six years and $162 million to Freddie Freeman a year ago. That would tie up a lot of payroll to aging stars in a few years.
New York Mets - Mets owner Steve Cohen loves to bash his money around, signing the likes of Francisco Lindor to an extension and adding Max Scherzer via free agency. What better way to make a bomb this offseason after a frustrating finish than by adding Judge and keeping him in New York while also irritating the Yankees fanbase?
Boston Red Sox - The Red Sox require a power on-fielder. It doesn’t feel like Boston would go all out to sign Judge to screw over the Yankees, but it’s happened before.