Aaron Judge: Yankees dig in, Giants deploy a 30-men team

Aaron Judge is a top target for both the Yankees and the Giants.
Michael Bennington
Tuesday December 6, 2022

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SAN DIEGO – The New York Yankees let all other franchises and fans know that Aaron Judge is their top – and currently sole – free agent priority. They want their player back. But the San Francisco Giants are not going to back down and have put in place a 30-member team to lure Judge into Oracle Park next season.

As the MLB winter meetings began in San Diego on Monday, the Yankees’ general manager, Brian Cashman, made it clear that his team is still in talks with Aaron Judge and his agents and the two sides are exchanging contract proposals. He claims that Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner personally visited Aaron Judge in Tampa, Florida, after he said last month that he wanted the slugger to “stay a Yankee for the rest of his life.”

“We’d love to have our player back,” Cashman told, “We would love to continue to call him our player every step of the way as he follows what looks like — as long as nothing happens — a career path that will lead him to Cooperstown. I would like him to be in pinstripes every step of the way.”

Cashman said he didn’t know if Aaron Judge was going to be at the winter meetings in San Diego, and the Yankees don’t have any other plans to meet with the star slugger right now.

Because it would cost a lot of money for the Yankees to sign Aaron Judge, they are waiting on a few other free agents while Judge is yet to convey his final decision. Cashman said that the Yankees would not tell Judge when he could play again because they respected him.

“I appreciate being in a position to have a conversation with a player of Judge’s magnitude,” said Cashman, who re-signed with the franchise on a four-year contract Monday. “The ownership here has allowed us to stay in the game on a big-ticket item. And that’s great. I’m sure there’s a lot of teams that would love to have access to a player of his caliber but can’t participate because the asks are going to be so immense.”

Even though the Yankees have backup plans in case they can’t sign Aaron Judge back, Cashman said the team can’t promise to make any other big moves.

But as other teams are too jumping into the free-agent market to sign players and many in the big league are signing contracts, Cashman admitted it was becoming a risk for the Yankees to wait for Aaron Judge to decide his future.

The Yankees and the outfielder’s camp went back and forth with a few offers, and Cashman talked to Aaron Judge’s agent earlier today. Judge doesn’t have to tell the club what he wants to do by a certain date. The Yankees haven’t heard anything about whether or not they’ll be able to match or beat any final offer Judge might get from another team.

In another interview with Meredith Marakovits and Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter link), Cashman said that the team had no plans to meet Aaron Judge in person at the Winter Meetings.

Giants are not willing to leave

People think that the Giants and the New York Yankees are neck-and-neck in the race to sign Aaron Judge to a long-term contract. Farhan Zaidi, their president, didn’t give many details, but he did say that the Giants feel good about their process and that Judge “had a good visit” to San Francisco before Thanksgiving.

Zaidi told reporters when he met them for the first time at the MLB Winter Meetings:

“Those conversations are continuing. We’re just trying to put our best foot forward. The process continues, but obviously, we have really, really strong interest and we thought it was a really productive visit.”

Zaidi said that about 30 of his team members helped plan for Judge’s visit and are part of the group’s pursuit of the power hitter. “It takes a lot of people working together,” he told. The press quizzed him if the Giants had roped in Barry Bonds, who joined San Francisco as a free agent three decades ago, to get Aaron Judge on board. But Zaidi smiled and refused to divulge any details of who were in that group.

Zaidi said that the Giants haven’t been given a time frame for when Aaron Judge might make his decision. Knowing one way or the other would help them move forward, but they aren’t just sitting back and waiting. In the last few weeks, the front office has spent a lot of time talking about what a Plan B might look like and much more.

If they have to, the Giants are ready to switch to other outfielders. Zaidi said that they want to bring in more than one outfielder during the offseason. He told, “We’re in that market even after Aaron.”

Meanwhile, Aaron Judge was in Tampa Bay on Monday. He was there to cheer the Buccaneers, the local football team, in their game that ended with they were making one of the greatest NFL comebacks in the last five minutes to defeat the New Orleans Saints. All over the country, two of the most successful sports teams kept waiting for Judge to decide.

Before the start of the season, the Yankees made Judge an offer for seven years and $213.5 million. Since then, they have made him several offers, including a recent eight-year deal of around $300 million. Cashman didn’t say if the Yankees would make another offer.

What do you think about Aaron Judge’s chances of returning to the Yankees lineup? Leave your comment below.

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