The New York Mets can use more pop in the lineup and what could be better than taking Aaron Judge away from the crosstown rivals?! Can there be a better way to switch the city to the Mets as the first choice of baseball fans than getting the face of the Yankees? Aaron Judge is an elite power hitter who when healthy is a legitimate top 5 MVP candidate. There is however the question of his health and it's pretty serious.
Judge averaged only 80 games a year between 2018-2020, before finally playing in 148 games in 2021. Yes this includes the shortened 2020 season, but he still only played in 28 games that year, which is less than 50% of the season's 60 games. Judge can't seem to stay consistently healthy and will be 31 years old for most of the first season under his new contract. Health and age are serious concerns with him and it just doesn't make much sense for the Mets to take that risk.
Aaron Judge's contract demands are pretty shocking. It seems that the 7 year/$30 million annual salary isn't good enough for him and that contract seems both fair and a pretty big overpay to begin with. The fair part is that it's a typical overpay based on the open market in free agency. If Judge wants more than that, the Mets need to stay away. The Mets need to stay away even if he'll accept the same offer as the one that he rejected. There are better options out there for the Mets...
The NY Mets should wait for better options such as Xander Bogaerts to instead of signing Aaron Judge.
Let's start with Xander Bogaerts. Bogey is a career .290/.353/.458 hitter who would be perfect for the #3 spot in the Mets' batting order. Bogaerts's defense is an issue, but perhaps he can be moved to second base or third base from his natural shortstop. It's true that Bogaerts didn't want to move off of that position so far, but his defense (-0.1 defensive bWAR in 2020 and 0.3 in 2021) has gotten so bad, that there just doesn't seem to be much of a chance that someone will sign him to play it.
Bogaerts played third base earlier in his career, so why wouldn't he move for the right money? Why couldn't he move to second base? It's not uncommon for fans and even people in the industry to think that a player won't switch positions, but it happens. About a decade ago, Detroit signed Prince Fielder to play first base when they already had Miguel Cabrera there. They then moved Cabrera to third base. Just this offseason, the aforementioned Story was a shortstop who supposedly refused to switch positions, and then he signed as a second baseman... Money talks and it's that simple.
Bogaerts would greatly improve the Mets' lineup through his contact and power and can be a great complement to the top of the batting order. In the rare case that a team is interested in signing Bogaerts as a shortstop and he prefers that over more money, Trea Turner is another alternative who has already played second base last year for the Los Angeles Dodgers and can play in the outfield as well. Carlos Correa is another interesting candidate as an elite defensive shortstop, in case Lindor is willing to move to second base.