Yankees Rumors: 7 teams that could steal Aaron Judge from the Bronx
The New York Yankees are preparing to negotiate against Aaron Judge during Wednesday’s arbitration hearings, which could either net the star slugger $21 million this season or $17 million if things don’t go his way.
This will impact the Yankees’ flexibility at the trade deadline, opening up $10 million or $6 million depending on the results of the hearing. However, that is not even the big financial situation general manager Brian Cashman has to worry about, it’s the monster extension that is coming up for Judge, who is leading the race for an MVP this year.
Judge is having a big year for the Yankees:
Over 66 games played, Judge features a .300 average with 25 homers and 50 RBIs. His 24.9% strikeout rate is nearly 5% below his career average, and he’s walking at 11.8%, matching his 2021 number. Judge currently leads the MLB in home runs, posting a 61.2% hard-hit rate and 25.7% barrel rate, both career highs. His 95.7 mph exit velocity and 12.2 launch angle have helped him tremendously in getting the ball out of the park quickly.
However, the Yankees aren’t the only ones watching Judge dominate this year. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, a number of MLB could inquire about his services during free agency.
Olney listed seven teams that could steal Judge away, including the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, and Boston Red Sox.
Judge heading to the Mets or Red Sox would be a huge slap in the face for Yankee management, but we can assume they won’t let that happen given the intense rivalries.
Even so, if the Yankees end up winning the World Series this year, letting Aaron leave in free agency would be a disaster. Judge has already turned down a seven-year deal were $30.5 million per season, seeking a deal upward of $35 million per year. He would likely see his wishes come to fruition, especially with owners like Steve Cohen willing to pay the maximum.
MLB insider: 7 teams could poach Aaron Judge from Yankees | Analysis
Updated: Jun. 22, 2022, 8:04 a.m. | Published: Jun. 22, 2022, 8:03 a.m.
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Friday. He will be a free agent following the season.AP
By Mike Rosenstein | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Watching Aaron Judge leave the New York Yankees would be bad.
Watching him sign with one of the club’s top rivals would be devastating.
If (Steve) Cohen wants the player, he could get the player -- and at the very least, he could drive up the price for the Yankees or some other team by being the unpredictable wild card in the bidding. “I would not rule Cohen out of anything,” a rival evaluator said, “especially if he gets close this year and doesn’t win it.”
The signing of Judge would change that narrative, rip the Yankees’ best position player out of their lineup, and get Red Sox fans turning out early to watch Judge put divots in the aluminum siding that protects the Green Monster.
Of course, you can’t rule out the Yankees re-signing Judge. But first things first, with an arbitration hearing on Friday. Judge filed at $21 million while the Yankees countered with $17 million.
There will be no shortage of teams interested in free agent to-be Aaron Judge. But could the Minnesota Twins actually make a play for the New York Yankees slugger?
Aaron Judge is having an MVP-type season for the New York Yankees. The three-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year is looking to add another trophy to his case later this year. The Yankees are also the top team in the American League and looking like World Series contenders.
But if the Bronx Bombers allow Judge to enter free agency this offseason, teams are likely to come out of the woodwork with aspirations of signing the slugger to a massive deal.
While teams like San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Mets are sure to be among the suitors looking to sign the superstar this offseason, a surprise team has emerged as well.
The Minnesota Twins are rumored to be interested in signing Aaron Judge. According to ESPN insider Buster Olney (subscription required), the Minnesota Twins are a surprise team that could emerge in the Aaron Judge sweepstakes in the event that the outfielder and the New York Yankees are unable to come to terms on a new agreement before the offseason.
Olney sees the Twins as unlikely to sign Judge, but no one assumed that Minnesota would ink Carols Correa to a three-year contract this past offseason. Correa’s market never developed as he had hoped, and the Twins became the shortstop’s contingency plan when all the suitors abandoned ship.
Correa has an opt-out clause in his contract after the 2022 and 2023 seasons, and before Minnesota could even enter the Aaron Judge conversation, they’d have to be assured that Correa would not return next season with a price tag of $35.1M.
The Aaron Judge saga will be one to follow throughout the season and into the winter. There’s still a chance that Judge and Yankees can come to terms on a long-term extension, but the two sides are still apart on the numbers.