There were plenty of reasons for New York Yankees fans and employees to be concerned about Aaron Judge potentially leaving in free agency. For starters, they “lowballed” him in the offseason and then made the offer public two hours before the start of Opening Day. Bad look.
Judge set a deadline for a contract extension, the Yankees missed it, and they had to stare down the barrel of his eventual high-profile free agency for months.
Then, he went ahead and put forth one of the best offensive seasons in baseball history, breaking the AL home run record and becoming just the third player ever to lead his league in home runs, RBI, runs scored, and walks in a single campaign, joining Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.
As a result, his price went up. By at least $100 million. The Yankees’ payroll situation was a cause for concern, given how they’ve limited spending in recent years and spent their money unwisely (Aaron Hicks, Josh Donaldson, DJ LeMahieu’s sixth contract year, overpaying for Gerrit Cole, and trading for Giancarlo Stanton, who can’t stay on the field).
And finally, there was Judge’s market. It wasn’t expected to be wide-reaching, but it was going to consist of the big guns in teams like the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, with the New York Mets, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners lurking.
So, of all the reasons for the Yankees to worry about Judge’s possible departure, this anecdote from SNY’s Andy Martino is by far the most ridiculous.
The Yankees were worried about Aaron Judge leaving because of his HR king stance
"“I talked to Yankees people in the season that were reading tea leaves like the rest of us. Judge holds it very close to the vest. Remember when Judge was asked, ‘Who’s the real home run king?’ and he said [Barry] Bonds instead of Maris? There were people in the Yankees organization going, ‘Uh oh, does that mean he wants to be a Giant?’ So nobody really knows.”"
They can’t get a read on their franchise player, who has been there for six years, and they think he’d be petty enough to leave for another team who boasts the “real” home run king? Unbelievable, if true, that people who work for the Yankees think like this.
It’s yet further proof that the Yankees are so far removed from the human element aspect of the game. Even if Judge “holds it very close to the vest,” some Yankees people bypassing the 10 other more legitimate reasons he’d leave for this one is almost unthinkable.
If he leaves for the Giants, it’ll be a combination of convenience for him and disrespect on the Yankees’ end. In case anyone out there needed a better take on the matter, the fans know more.