Aaron Judge Free Agency: Ranking all 30 MLB teams as potential landing spots as the Yankees star enters the offseason

Aaron Judge may have played for the last time with the Yankees on Sunday when New York lost Game 4 of the American League Championship Series to the Houston Astros, ending a sweep. Judge has had one of the most impressive offensive seasons in league history. He scored 62 goals, broke Roger Maris’ single-season records for both the Yankees franchise and the American League, and threatened for the AL Triple Crown. He will likely be rewarded for his incredible season in the form of the AL’s Most Valuable Player award once all the ballots are tallied later this fall.

Judge will be rewarded in other ways this winter as he aims to become the most desirable free agent of the offseason. You may have heard that he turned down the Yankees’ last extension offer earlier this spring, a deal that would have netted him more than $210 million. The decision to back himself now looks brilliant and it leaves a tempting question: who could he sign with ahead of next season?

We here at CBS Sports are nothing if not the messy type, so below we’ve ranked and ranked all 30 teams based on their perceived likelihood of signing judges. We should note that this is more of an art than a science – there’s still time left in the regular season, for Pete’s sake – and this exercise is for entertainment purposes only. In other words, don’t go too high or too low in response to your team’s placement.

With the fine print out of the way, let’s move on to the ranking.

Stage 1: No way, no way

30. Pittsburgh Pirates

29. Oakland Athletics

28. Miami Marlin

27. Royal Family of Kansas City

26. Tampa Bay Rays

25. Cincinnati Red

Again, Judge turned down an extension that would have netted him more than $210 million. He will definitely get even more this winter. Can you imagine the Royals or the Athletics awarding such a contract? Of course you can’t; not in this version of the simulation. However, we’d pay a small fee to see a live stream of Pirates general manager Ben Cherington pitching the idea to owner Bob Nutting.

Tier 2: Momentum and a miss

24. Detroit Tigers

23. Washington nationals

22. Orioles of Baltimore

21. Milwaukee Brewers

20. Colorado Rockies

19. Los Angeles Angels

Neither of these teams appear to be either 1) spending the money necessary or 2) making it through the postseason. Given that Judge will be making his picks of teams that can and will do both, there’s no point wasting a lot of time weighing up the relative merits of this group. We’ll concede that the idea of ​​Judge teaming up with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani is tempting, but the Angels appear to be more likely to trade before or after a sale with Ohtani.

Stage 3: An item is missing

18. Arizona Diamondbacks

17.Chicago White Sox

16. Minnesota Twins

15. Cleveland Guardian

The White Sox, Twins and Guardians are all expected to compete again for the American League Central crown next season. Neither of them seem to be flaunting a player of Judge’s caliber – so although the twins signed Carlos Correa last off-season, maybe anything is possible. The Diamondbacks are a budding team, but they have an outfield full of youngsters, suggesting they should spend their coin elsewhere.

Level 4: On the warning lane

14. Philadelphia Phillies

13. San Diego Padres

12. Seafarers from Seattle

11.Toronto Blue Jays

10. Houston Astros

9.Atlanta Braves

8. Texas Ranger

7. St. Louis Cardinals

6. Chicago boys

If you told us that one of these teams was involved with Judge, we wouldn’t be shocked; We just don’t count on them making a serious run based on this or that factor. The Padres and Rangers have made some notable additions to their rosters over the past year. We’re not sure both have room for the kind of deal Judge will be asking for. The Mariners, Blue Jays, Astros and Braves seem more focused on keeping or expanding their own — the Braves, for example, need to sort out whether or not to keep Dansby Swanson in town. The Cardinals were in the running for Juan Soto, suggesting they might have an appetite for another big hitter. Would you stand up for the judge? We are skeptical. Then there are the Cubs, who will likely focus their energies (and money) on upgrading at shortstop.


5.Boston Red Sox

We’re skeptical about ranking the Red Sox that highly. Chaim Bloom has shown little willingness to spend and it seems odd to trade Mookie Betts only to turn around and sign Judge a few winters later. They also need to figure out what to do with the left side of their infield, in shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers. However, there are only so many teams that can realistically match Judge’s prize, and the Red Sox happen to be one of those teams.

Rank 5: The favourites

Finally we did it, we’ve reached the last four, or the teams that we think have the best chance of signing Judge this winter. Let’s dive right in.

4. San Francisco Giants

A front office source scoffed at our listing the Giants as a good landing spot for Judge, but listen to us on this one. The Giants have played for Giancarlo Stanton and Bryce Harper in the past, suggesting they have an appetite for a mid-order knocker. Much of San Francisco’s existing core is aging into retirement or declining, leaving Farhan Zaidi in a position where it’s time to import a new face to the franchise. The Giants will have several long-term commitments both this winter and next, giving them the financial freedom to make a splash. And hey, it might not help that Judge played in college about three hours from Oracle Park, but it probably won’t hurt. Perhaps this source will prove correct; We just think the Giants will soon reemerge as a serious dark horse for a top free agent.

3.New York Mets

2.Los Angeles Dodgers

We’re not entirely legally required to put the Dodgers and Mets at the top of this list (and others who have a similar concept), but we’re closer than not. The Dodgers landed several big deals this offseason, including those of Trea Turner and David Price. They could free up even more money by not writing out Cody Bellinger should they choose to do so. Because of their apparent financial flexibility, they get the higher rank. For their part, the Mets have shown no real reluctance to spend as much money as they want under Steve Cohen. Still, Billy Eppler will have some important internal business to attend to this offseason as ace Jacob deGrom and closer Edwin Diaz can both hit the open market. Would the Mets really be willing to keep these two? and sign judge? Maybe like this.

1. New York Yankees

And yet we must go with the Yankees as the judge’s potential top candidates. Yes, that’s the choice of the coward, and yes, they’ve failed to lock up Judge so far. There are several factors at play that could give them a greater sense of urgency when the two sides speak again this winter. For one thing, Brian Cashman needs to know that his team would be far worse off without a judge. Second, the Yankees rarely let their homegrown stars go free (Robinson Canó is the exception), and it would be hard to sell Judge walking after he shattered Maris’ record. Then there’s the Mets factor: Can you imagine the Yankees feeling when they allow Judge to chase them around town? Cashman and the Yankees may have the courage to face it, but we’re sticking with the incumbent until there’s reason to shut them out.



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