The New York Yankees have backed themselves into a corner ahead of the Winter Meetings following Hal Steinbrenner’s declaration that the team would not be outbid in their pursuit to retain Aaron Judge.
Thus far, only one other team has emerged as a significant competitor for Judge’s services: his hometown San Francisco Giants, who seem comfortable offering longer-term security than their NL West rivals the LA Dodgers.
In order for Steinbrenner to make good on his promise and bring his right-fielder back at all costs, it seems like he’ll have to sweeten the pot one more time.
According to Ken Rosenthal’s sources on Saturday, the recently-leaked eight-year offers for Judge likely won’t cut it; the winner in the sweepstakes might have to go to a ninth year, and they might have to do it soon.
No word yet on whether the Giants are willing to do so and the Yankees aren’t, or the other way around, but kudos to the Judge camp on creating a bidding war with limited options at their disposal.
Yankees, Giants must pay nine-year contract for Aaron Judge
Yankee fans should have learned by now that, when a certain group of connected insiders tosses out contract estimates, they’re not just making unfounded guesses.
When Jack Curry beat the drum for eight years, $300 million last week, it was no coincidence that was leaked as the Yankees’ reported current offer just days later. And when Joel Sherman tossed out nine years and $342 million for Judge on Friday night, an oddly specific number, it seems he was doing more than just playing a guessing game.
In the current big-money climate where Jacob deGrom, with an uncertain bill of health, can secure five guaranteed years at the second-highest AAV in the game’s history, Judge can surely set the position-player AAV record with room to spare. The Yankees’ rumored offer would’ve done that, but Judge clearly has one (final?) trick up his sleeve before choosing coasts.