Aaron Judge’s top 5 likely suitors when he turns a free agent

Aaron Judge in pinestripes.

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A record holder, an MVP, and a Triple Crown winner are players every MLB team wants to have on its roster. When all three integrate into one player and he is a free agent, this is something cash-rich teams can seldom afford to ignore. This is why fans, analysts, and team owners have joined speculations over Aaron Judge‘s future move and his 2023 team.

Aaron Judge is now the record holder for most single-season AL home runs after he had 62 home runs this season in Arlington, Texas.

The slugger narrowly missed the chance to win the Triple Crown but remains in the race as the strongest contender for the AL MVP award. Because of this, it’s fair to say that he’s having one of the best offensive seasons in the Major League.

Aaron Judge would be rewarded in another way this winter, as he is expected to be the most-wanted free agent. He turned down the Yankees‘ last extension offer in the spring, which would have paid him more than $213 million. The decision to bet on himself paid off. All eyes are now on where the power hitter will end up before the upcoming season. Here are the probable teams that may have the slugger.

#5. Boston Red Sox: 20% chance

Favors: The Red Sox could be the dark horse in the market. Their prudent financial management makes them the only team among the richest five MLB teams to have an operating profit. They can realistically pay Judge’s price and their fans are happy to see Aaron Judge after he didn’t rule it out in Boston.

Disapproval: Chaim Bloom hasn’t been willing to spend much, and it would be strange to trade Mookie Betts and then sign Aaron Judge a few winters later. Also, they need to figure out what to do with shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers on the left side of their infield if they get the slugger for a record sum.

#4. New York Mets: 30% chance

Favors: The Met’s will never lose a chance to torment their cross-town rivals the Yankees and rob them of their biggest star. Currently, the Mets are in sixth place on the Forbes list of richest MLB clubs. Steve Choen, the Mets’ owner and a hedge fund founder, has a lot of money that can power his team to run for any big-name free agent like Aaron Judge.

Disapproval: Aaron Judge may not ditch his cult status among Yankees fans to switch over to cross-town rivals. The Yankees may not allow the Mets to snatch their superstar either. Billy Eppler will have a lot of important internal business to take care of this offseason. Both ace Jacob deGrom and closer Edwin Diaz can be traded. Would the Mets want to keep these two players and bring in Judge? However, the Mets won’t leave the opportunity to torture their New York rivals by pushing up the contract value substantially. Can you imagine how the Yankees would feel if they let Judge run away to the other side of the city?

#3. Los Angeles Dodgers: 40% chance

Favors: The second biggest team in the MLB by valuation, the Dodgers are capable to bid for Aaron Judge, the top hitter in the league. They finished the season with 111 win. No NL team had it since 1906. This offseason, the Dodgers are getting out of a lot of big contracts, including those of Trea Turner and David Price. If they decided not to bid on Cody Bellinger, they could free up even more money. Because they seem to have more financial freedom, they can give Aaron Judge a bigger deal.

Disapprovals: A bid by the Dodgers may lead to counter offers from the Angels and their NL rivals the Giants. This can significantly increase the contract cost. Also, they have to resign multiple players this year and spending too much to get only one star and a big payroll may discourage them. Also, Aaron Judge may not find it favorable in an app-stacke up lineup with their greatest saeson.

#2. San Francisco Giants: 50% chance

Favors: The Giants have tried to get Giancarlo Stanton and Bryce Harper in the past, which shows that they want a big bat in the middle of the lineup. San Francisco’s core players are getting old and either retiring or getting worse. The Giants will get out of some long-term contracts this winter and next, giving them the money to make a big splash. Aaron Judge grew up in the Bay Area and went to college about three hours from Oracle Park. His wife too is from California, and both may prefer to return to their native state.

Disapproval: The Giants have money and “Barry Bonds advantage.” But New York offers a bigger market to Aaron Judge and he gets endorsements multiple times of his annual contract amount. Playing in the AL has its own benefits. Aaron Judge may not prefer the pitcher friendly Oracle Park. The Giants have a history of falling short of the target in a bidding war.

#1. New York Yankees: 60% chance

Favors: Aaron Judge is an Yankee and is a cult figure for the Yankees fans. New York’s endorsement market is the biggest in the United States. Judge has already hinted at his preference for New York. This gives the Yankees the best chance to retain him. Brian Cashman must know that his team would do much worse without Aaron Judge. Their president has already hinted at resigning the slugger. The home-run record of Yankee Stadium is an enticement.

Disapprovals: The Yankees had a fallout with Aaron Judge, who rejected their offer. The player is also not happy with the team brass going public about it. The Yankees haven’t been able to lock up Judge until now giving others a chance to try.

Which team do you think is the best placed to sign Aaron Judge?

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