According to MLB insider Jon Morosi, Aaron Judge is increasingly likely to sign with an interested team ahead of the end of the Winter Meetings, which will take place Dec. 5-7 in San Diego.
If that timeline ends up being genuine, that means there won’t be much time for a “Mystery Team” to hitch up their pants and get involved, and the conversation will probably come down to the incumbent Yankees, the star-seeking Dodgers, and the hometown San Francisco Giants.
Currently, fans are stuck in the Giants portion of the cresting wave. Judge used his Thanksgiving holiday to fly home to the Bay Area to get wined and dined, and Morosi’s sources claim San Francisco’s formal offer is en route over the next few days.
Yankees head honcho Hal Steinbrenner insisted last week that he’s spoken with Judge multiple times since the end of the season, and presented an air of confidence about bringing No. 99 back and refusing to be outbid. The rubber will hit the road, though, when he actually sees what the Giants have to offer — and, who knows? Maybe Judge was playing the game all along, and landing back home is what he really wanted?
The captaincy awaits if Judge becomes a forever Yankee, but Joc Pederson of the Giants wants to make sure that never happens, recruiting extra hard Tuesday night after what was likely an all-day visit.
Joc Pederson recruiting Yankees’ Aaron Judge to Giants
There’s certainly a chance Judge falls in love with the Giants’ pitch (or, again, was in love with it from the start and playing nice). So far, this is a completely normal free agency cycle, though. Judge made it obvious — from his Steinbrenner meetings to his MVP speech — that he was ready to “start” the process last week.
If that process also is slated to end over the course of the next two weeks, that means he wants to be wined and dined, but knows he has a relatively simple decision to make: SF or NYC?
Steinbrenner knew this was coming, too, and still exuded confidence. Maybe he knows something. Maybe he’s going to be blindsided.
So far, the Giants’ push seems a little bit … too orchestrated. Jon Morosi, of all people, has had every scoop along the way, from Judge’s video at the San Francisco hotel to his newly-minted timeline. Pederson’s post wasn’t even close to subtle. Somewhere along the way, Judge, Morosi and Co. chose to put on a full-court press to make it painfully clear that the GIANTS. ARE. INVOLVED.
The Giants push is either very real and they’re the leaders in the clubhouse, or it’s a slightly-too-manicured smokescreen to make the Yankees more nervous than they feel they should be. Only Steinbrenner himself knows to what extent he won’t be outbid.