This is what every New York Yankees fan feared; Aaron Judge would reject a contract extension (or the team wouldn’t offer enough money) and then we’d have to deal with the fallout during his walk year. Brilliant. Life couldn’t be better.
That fallout came an hour before Opening Day when general manager Brian Cashman held a press conference to let the world know Judge turned down the team’s overtures — really, the perfect way to start a totally new year after choking to the max in 2021.
On top of dealing with the rumors suggesting what Judge had countered with (10 years and $360 million, per reports), now we have some truly wild scenarios being considered by those in the media.
And how fitting! We got our first one from a Red Sox insider over the weekend and truly couldn’t think of a more ridiculous/unrealistic outcome.
Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal (subscription required) wondered if Judge might defect to the Red Sox after this season … with the Yankees countering by bringing in shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who’s expected to opt out of his contract in November.
The Yankees famously do not want to pay a shortstop and Judge all but officially let the world know he wants way more money than even the Yankees would be comfortable paying, let alone the Red Sox, who didn’t want to budge on paying Mookie Betts!
Yankees Rumors: Aaron Judge heading to the Red Sox would be a nightmare
Though McAdam did say this is all unlikely to transpire, he added that it’s “interesting to think about.” Our rebuttal? No, it’s certainly not interesting to think about.
"“Judge would be an intriguing addition to Fenway and could knock down The Wall with line drives. Plus, if there’s a position where the Sox do not have a lot of close-to-the-majors prospects, it’s the outfield. … Judge, who’s an excellent outfielder, would fill right field for a while. But if the Sox have some concerns about a mega-extension for Bogaerts, who’s been incredibly durable, why would they spend more on a player who’s a year older and has played more than 112 games just twice? As for the Yankees, they stayed out of the shortstop market this past winter because they have two elite shortstop prospects in their pipeline and didn’t want to block either. Unless, that is, they envision Bogaerts at either second or third. Neither switch is likely. But’s it’s interesting to think about.”"
The summary? Aaron Judge is a free agent. The Red Sox are a baseball team. The Red Sox have a need in right field. The fit exists. However, there are countless obstacles that make this unlikely, chief among them being Boston’s behavior on the free agent market in recent years. Part II: Xander Bogaerts is unhappy with his contract situation. He’s expected to leave. The Yankees have a “hole” at shortstop at this very moment, but clearly prefer the young prospects in their system despite the budgetary flexibility they’d possess if Judge left. In that case, they’d have to ask Bogaerts to play another position. Probably won’t happen or work.
Feel free to “cold take” us if the Sox offer Judge $300+ million in the offseason. We’ll gladly take the verbal abuse if that happens.