Sometimes, you read a Yankees rumor that makes you want to slap the source in the face and beg them to repeat it to you slower and in a different tone.
Such was the case early Sunday, when we thought we were about to read a quaint little notes column, but were instead hit with Buster Olney’s revelation that the Yankees and Angels talked Aaron Judge trade this winter.
Excuse me? Say that again?
Who trade? Aaron…Judge? How much did they talk? Did both parties talk, or just one? Mercy.
Yes, it’s true.
Ahead of a make or break season in his pursuit of a massive contract, the Yankees reportedly had initial conversations with Los Angeles about a Judge trade. The hulking outfielder is a free agent after the 2022 season, and if some other injury concern crops up between now and the end of that year, it’ll provide for some completely insane hypothetical trade talks next summer and offseason.
Yankees Rumors: Aaron Judge-Angels trade talks for real?
"The Angels had trade talks with the Yankees about Aaron Judge this winter, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports, though it sounds as if the discussions were little more than due diligence. “It was the lightest of flirtations,” as Olney put it, “and perhaps a door-opener for other names.” No details about the specific nature of the talks were mentioned, though it’s safe to assume the Angels explored some bigger outfield names like Judge before eventually landing Dexter Fowler in a salary-dump of a trade from the Cardinals."
On top of everything else, the Angels strike us as a strange pairing here, simply because their prospect capital is not up to snuff. Jo Adell leads the charge — would either party entertain that, though? Top outfield prospect and change for a superstar outfielder seems like a bizarre move and a clear upgrade in Anaheim.
If the Yankees were at least open to talking about a Judge trade this offseason — with his value almost inarguably at its lowest — will they open things back up ahead of his “final season” in pinstripes next year?
If Judge survives this entire season, will that be enough to convince the team to extend him instead? Or will they just enter more trade talks with additional leverage?
Let’s not mince words: right now, a Judge trade to the Angels (or anyone else) makes very little sense. Unless the Yankees want to pull another Giancarlo Stanton contract absorption and take on Mike Trout’s deal! Who says no?