1. San Francisco Giants
Come on, you knew it. This has long been a speculated landing spot for Judge if his tenure with the Yankees doesn’t work out. Rumors about the Giants’ interest in Giancarlo Stanton years ago also make this more of a potential reality.
And after a 107-win season with a number of those building blocks still in place — Brandon Crawford, Alex Wood, Anthony DeSclafani, Mike Yastrzemski, LaMonte Wade Jr., Tyler Rogers, Logan Webb and more — the Giants have no reason not to go for the jugular, especially with the Los Angeles Dodgers likely prepping for a spending spree with so many guys possibly coming off the books following 2022.
The Giants have estimated payrolls of $131 million and $87 million in 2023 and 2024. Evan Longoria’s huge contract either takes a big dip to $13 million in 2023 or can be bought out for $5 million. Brandon Belt’s qualifying offer figure of $18.4 million is done after 2022. The flexibility is there.
Another reason this could be a serious possibility is because reports have suggested the Giants might not spend big when the lockout ends. They’ve seemingly kept their distance from Kris Bryant. They let Kevin Gausman go. The only notable name they’ve been tied to in free agency is Seiya Suzuki, who could really end up anywhere given the excessive interest.
One thing we know about the Giants is that they thrive with a face(s) of the franchise. Barry Bonds, Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner and Crawford have been among the steady, main figures dating back to 1993. Right now, San Fran is an assortment of wily veterans and young studs, but one could argue they need a true star to bring back the glory days.
With a ton of financial flexibility and big market spending power, expect the Giants to be all over Judge (a Linden, CA native who sure as hell isn’t signing with the A’s) if he puts one pinky toe in the free agent pool.