Aaron Judge to the Dodgers was never realistic, not because they weren’t interested, but because he was always going to get a huge, long contract, and Los Angeles was never likely to be the team to give it to him. Giving a player of his physical profile a contract that takes him into his late 30s isn’t the modus operandi of this current front office.
For the last several days, the question came down to: Will it be the Giants or the Yankees? And we got our answer Wednesday morning.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 7, 2022
In the end, Judge had similar offers from the San Diego and New York, and he chose to stay home in the Bronx rather than going home to the Bay Area.
Perhaps the most unexpected part of the whole process was that the Padres jumped in as the mystery team, reportedly making the biggest offer of any of them.
The primary reason why Aaron Judge flew to San Diego on Tuesday was to meet with the San Diego #Padres.
They offered him $400 million over 10 years.
Judge stays put in New York for $360 million over nine years.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 7, 2022
While San Diego’s reported offer and the offer Judge accepted from the Yankees are the same AAV, it’s a legitimate difference simply because, at Judge’s age, he’s unlikely to get that $40 million on another contract at the end of this one.
According to reports, the Yankees were offering eight years, and it was a conversation between the superstar and New York owner Hal Steinbrenner that got the job done.
Sources: Last night that Yankees were at 8/$320MM for Judge. They believed SDP was at $400 and Giants would get there. Hal got on phone w/Judge, asked him if he wanted to be a Yankee. Judge said yes but need 9th year.Hal/Judge closed deal.
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) December 7, 2022
So, in the end, Judge used the free agency process to leverage the best deal possible from the team he always wanted to stay with. For as much as free agency has allowed players to bounce from team to team, it often plays out this way, which is good for baseball.
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