When Aaron Judge began his "free agency tour," some New York Yankees fans who were optimistic that he'd return felt it was nothing but a show. After all, Judge's market was severely limited due to his price tag. Only a few teams could offer the contract he wanted, and not many were willing to get into a high-profile bidding war for someone entering his age-31 season.
You know how the story ended. Judge signed a nine-year, $360 million contract with the Yankees, and reportedly took less to maintain his legacy in New York. Great guy. When he had his press conference with the team to announce the deal, he mentioned that his legacy was more important than the money, which was what many fans suspected given what they know about Judge and his character.
That also provided more support for the argument that his brief foray into the free agent market was a tactic to get what he wanted from the Yankees after they offered him a weak $213.5 million extension last spring (really? couldn't have rounded up?).
Judge's lone "serious" suitor when combining the rumors/reports with the actual interest and interaction was the San Francisco Giants. Right before Thanksgiving weekend, the spectacle began when MLB insider Jon Morosi "stumbled upon" Judge in a San Francisco hotel prepping for his visit with the 2021 NL West champs.
Judge took that meeting and it was reportedly a long, drawn out one where he met with many influenctial members of the organization, both past and present. And apparently the Giants thought their competitive offer had a good chance to lure him away from the Yankees. It didn't, though, and apparently the Giants players involved in the meetings with Judge didn't take kindly to that.
Giants players were "butt-hurt" when Aaron Judge re-signed with the Yankees
Giants starting pitcher Logan Webb said it, we didn't! And that further suggests the Giants were convinced they had a chance to land the reigning AL MVP, who clearly put on a formidable act to get the offers he desired so he could go back to the Yankees and show them what they needed to match.
And that he did. He reportedly turned down a similar offer from the Giants and one in excess of $400 million from the San Diego Padres. Since this technically occurred in 2022, can Judge be considered for an Oscar in about a month? Not only did he get the money he wanted from the team he wanted to remain with, but he had an entire other group of people feeling "butt-hurt" when he made his decision.
Maybe the Giants are just a little bit more in their feels because they ended up striking out spectacularly on Carlos Correa too? And because the Yankees swiped Carlos Rodón? And because they ended up spending their money on Mitch Haniger, Michael Conforto, Ross Stripling, Sean Manaea, Taylor Rogers and Joc Pederson?
Judge was the first domino to fall that caused all of this, though, and now they have to face him on Opening Day. Plus, the biggest guy will obviously make your butt hurt the most, so we get it.