Yankees: Please stop talking about Aaron Judge trade scenarios


Why are we talking about Aaron Judge trade scenarios, Yankees fans?

Hey New York Yankees fans, we just spent the last eight months ripping the Boston Red Sox for trading their best player in Mookie Betts, and now we’re going to have the gall to entertain discussions about moving Aaron Judge, especially when there are no formidable options to replace him in free agency?

I know, we talked about trading Judge in favor of signing Betts months ago, but that’s no longer an option. So this conversation is now moot.

No matter which way you look at this, the Yankees don’t come out on top. The only way to win here is if Judge stays healthy, gets back to superstar status, and becomes the team’s captain. Trading him will do nothing. Extending him now is perhaps a risk. So general manager Brian Cashman will continue to have to wait this out and hope for two good campaigns in 2021 and 2022 that feature limited injuries.

The Yankees already have enough players on their roster they no longer want who have bottomed-out in terms of value (Gary Sanchez, Adam Ottavino, to name a few), so why would we add Judge to that list? Cashman isn’t making trades for pennies on the dollar.

The fact of the matter is that Judge is probably a top-five player in Major League Baseball when he’s producing on the field. His defense is criminally underrated. His bat is among the most impactful when he’s hot. So it’d be silly to bail on that kind of potential when he’s under two more years of club control. And it’d be silly to try and trade him when his value is suffering because of injuries (he’s played in just 242 games since the start of 2018).

What kind of return do you expect to get? What kind of return do you want? The only frame of reference we have stems from the wild Judge-for-Max Scherzer hypothetical that took social media by storm last year. And everyone thought that was dumb. Now, you won’t get anything resembling even 75% of Judge.

And in case you haven’t noticed, the Yankees don’t win when Judge isn’t atop his game or fully healthy.

We know banking on Judge to stay healthy for the remainder of his time under team control is a lot to ask for since he’s only been able to prove that for one season. But that one season was an MVP-caliber campaign. And unfortunately the double-edged sword of waiting around for that vs considering trading him well below that value is something we have to live with, but it’s clear the latter option is only a scenario that can hurt the Yankees.

Judge is staying with the Yankees, and the absolute worst case we can envision at this point is that the team lets him walk in free agency after 2022 if he can’t stay on the field. And they’ll at the very least get draft pick compensation for him when he likely declines the qualifying offer. That’s your reality.