Imagine this: after seven seasons with the New York Yankees, Aaron Judge decides to remain in the Big Apple. Something has changed, though. He’s no longer playing baseball in The Bronx. He has moved over to Queens to play for the New York Mets.
The outrage from Yankees fans would be massive. Their guy, the one who clobbered 52 home runs as a rookie in 2017, the larger than life outfielder with amazing potential, flees from under the Yankees flag and joins up with the new and improved Mets. It would be apocalyptic for Yankees fans.
The horror. The horror.
As much fun as it would be to get under the skin of Yankees fans, signing Aaron Judge is not something for the Mets to seriously pursue
I understand the impact of making such a move would have. With Judge unsigned beyond 2022 and sounding like he will pursue free agency if he doesn’t have an extension before Opening Day, the speculation has already begun! Could the Mets really swoop in and take away the big, bad powerful slugging right fielder from their “big brother?”
Under the ownership of Steve Cohen, anything is possible. Mets fans are already clearing a spot in their bedroom closet to hang their Juan Soto jerseys in a few years. He won’t reach free agency for a little while longer. Judge is less than 365 days from doing it—unless the Yankees get their act together.
Judge has a few things working against him. This upcoming year will be his age 30 campaign which means he becomes a baseball nomad a little later than one might like.
An equally as important factor, injuries have been difficult for him to avoid. He has missed significant time in three of his five full seasons, excluding the short stint he had in the big leagues back in 2016. When he has been on the field, Judge rakes. He plays great defense and has shown superstar talent. It’s the curse of any superstar athlete. Unavailability always defeats ability.
There’s no shortage of cash flow for the Mets to at least consider Judge. And right field could be wide open for them to add a player like him into the mix.
Judge is the kind of player you sign to a mega-deal hoping he can stay healthy and the players you have around him are good enough to make you a champion. The Mets should be able to fulfill their part of this agreement. Nothing they have done suggests they are going to punt a season anytime soon.
For the right price and a chance to win it all, nobody has any business complaining about a possible Judge to the Mets deal.
It’s an ultimate flex the Mets can make but far from ideal. There are only a few teams they wouldn’t let him slip away and sign with. Their biggest geographical rival is one of them. If the Mets are going to go chasing Judge, don’t be shocked if the Yankees drive up the cost.