There you have it. The San Francisco Giants have reportedly made their offer to Aaron Judge in free agency. Expect the proceedings to accelerate over the next 24-36 hours. The New York Yankees could know the fate of their future by this evening at the earliest.
Per MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Giants are in the $360 million range with their offer to Judge. The last we’ve heard about the Yankees, their top number was eight years for $300 million, with general manager Brian Cashman revealing on Monday night that they’d made a number of other offers as well.
It’s no surprise the Giants’ first overture was in excess of whatever the Yankees presented Judge with the first time around. That’s to be expected, or else they wouldn’t be in the race at all. He would’ve re-signed with New York by now.
But a $60 million difference is significant. Will the Yankees close the gap or will they walk away? Did Trea Turner’s 11-year contract with the Phillies up the ante here? If Turner, entering his age-30 season, got that long of a deal, did the length for Judge just go up to 10 years?!
Even worse … will any Yankees response convince Judge to stay after all that’s come out in the last day or so?
Should the Yankees be worried about the Giants’ offer to Aaron Judge?
Will the Yankees re-signing general manager Brian Cashman to a four-year deal be a massive waste, since he apparently started to sour the relationship with Judge by leaking the offer the slugger rejected before Opening Day?
The semantics of the potential damage to the relationship aside, the truth is, a $360 million offer should worry the Yankees. Outside of their aggressiveness in the Gerrit Cole chase, there’s been no recent evidence to suggest they’d be willing to go above and beyond for Judge with the manner in which this has dragged out since last offseason. Outside of Hal Steinbrenner’s “promise” that he won’t be out-bid for Judge, there’s nothing.
And if this gets as high as MLB insider Jim Bowden suggests it will … it really feels like the reigning AL MVP might be a goner.
Ten years and $375 million?! The Yankees offered $213.5 million in March! Then again, Judge was rumored to have requested $360 million over 10 years before his historic MVP season, so why wouldn’t he be looking for more than that after the fact?
The Yankees always had a reason to worry. They’re no longer spendthrifts after being spooked from the Jacoby Ellsbury/Brian McCann/Carlos Beltran offseason. They’re far from a fully operational death star. Any other big market team involved in the bidding for a high-profile player is a problem for the Yankees. Look no further than what happened last year with Justin Verlander, Corey Seager, Freddie Freeman and others. How about the year before with George Springer and Michael Brantley?
The problem is New York prefers a clear path to their free agency targets. But that’s impossible as the biggest market in the sport. They can and will be used as negotiating leverage in almost every free agent chase. And in a two-horse race where the other horse continues to raise their calls and checks? They should win that … but it’s never been more in question than it is right now.