7:32PM: Yankees GM Brian Cashman spoke with reporters (including Abbey Mastracco of the New York Daily News and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand) about Judge, saying that the Yankees had exchanged several offers with the outfielder’s camp, and Cashman had spoken with Judge’s agent earlier today. The club doesn’t have any deadline for Judge to make a decision. The Yankees haven’t gotten any word about whether or not they will get the opportunity to counter or match any final offer Judge might receive from any other team. In another interview with YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits and Jack Curry (Twitter link), Cashman said the team didn’t have any plans to meet with Judge in person during the Winter Meetings.
3:49PM: There isn’t much doubt that Aaron Judge’s next contract will top the $300MM mark, though the exact distance over $300MM and the length of the deal are still unknown. Recent reports have suggested that the Yankees offered Judge an eight-year pact worth roughly $300MM, and that a minimum of nine years will be required to sign the AL MVP.
That nine-year demand might already be a reality, as MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (Twitter link) hears some speculation from industry sources that Judge has a nine-year offer in hand. The Yankees’ previous offer wasn’t said to be their final bid, so it could be that New York added an extra year to retain their longtime star. Or, it could be that the Giants (another team known to be in hot pursuit of Judge) have floated a nine-year offer, or perhaps even an unknown team.
On the topic of the ever-popular mystery teams, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand writes that other teams beyond the Yankees and Giants “remain on the periphery” of Judge’s market. With the numbers this high, of course, only certain big-spending clubs are realistic candidates to sign Judge in the first place, unless a mid-payroll team decided to make an unexpected splurge.
The Red Sox are no strangers to big payrolls, and they have at least checked in with Judge’s representatives, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reports. As intriguing as it would be to see Judge switch sides in the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, the Sox are “not one of the most aggressive teams” in the Judge race, as Cotillo characterizes Boston’s interest more as “due diligence” rather than a true push to sign the slugger.
The Dodgers are the only other team publicly known to have some interest in Judge, though preferably on a shorter-term deal with a higher average annual value, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal wrote over the weekend. A nine-year asking price could put Los Angeles out of the running, but given the Dodgers’ financial resources, they can certainly afford a longer-term deal if they are determined to land Judge. With Trea Turner now gone to the Phillies and Justin Verlander (a prime Dodgers target) signing with the Mets, however, it is worth wondering if the Dodgers might now more firmly pivot towards Judge.