The MLB Winter Meetings are still more than a week away (begin Dec. 4), but the stove is starting to heat up. On Monday night, news emerged regarding the free-agent status of the 2022 American League MVP.
According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports and MLB Network, Aaron Judge has arrived in San Francisco and is expected to meet with the Giants this week. There’s even video via MLB Network showing Judge in San Francisco. Judge said, “Just visiting some family and friends; that’s about it,” and appeared to wink at the camera.
Breaking news into @MLBNetwork, via video from San Francisco: Aaron Judge has arrived in the city and is expected to meet with the #SFGiants this week. Join us on #MLBNHotStove at 9 am ET tomorrow for the latest. @MLB pic.twitter.com/pq0at6kgQ6
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 22, 2022
Later on Monday night, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com added more specific details.
Feinsand tweeted, “According to sources, Aaron Judge will meet with the Giants on Tuesday. San Francisco is expected to be one of the biggest threats to the Yankees in the Judge sweepstakes.”
According to sources, Aaron Judge will meet with the Giants on Tuesday. San Francisco is expected to be one of the biggest threats to the Yankees in the Judge sweepstakes. https://t.co/XemO2SmGGt
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 22, 2022
The Giants have been heavily linked to Judge, and their front office has made it clear that they have the financial ability to add any player they want to this offseason.
San Francisco went 81-81 in the 2022 MLB season, finishing 30 games behind their hated rival Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West. However, we just saw an NLCS that featured a third-place, 87-win team in the Philadelphia Phillies, and a second-place, 89-win team in the San Diego Padres. If you can just find a way into the postseason, you have a chance.
And adding Judge would certainly add several wins on paper.
Judge was valued at a ridiculous 11.4 wins above replacement (WAR) per FanGraphs in his historic 2022 campaign for the New York Yankees. He crushed an AL record 62 home runs, and his power easily plays in any ballpark. That ability would be extremely enticing for a Giants team that plays in a home ballpark that doesn’t feature a lot of home runs (Oracle Park ranked 30th for home runs among the 2022 park factors).
The 30-year-old (31 next April) outfielder is expected to receive a contract north of $300 million in free agency, and while the (literally, at 6’7″, 282 pounds) enormous talent would immediately provide a massive upgrade to many organizations, it’s unlikely many ownerships and front offices will be willing to meet his demands. And the Giants seemingly will. Perhaps San Francisco will even be willing to go higher than they planned with rumors that the Dodgers are expected to be one of the teams making a run at Judge.
Here’s a peek at how baseball fans are reacting to the reports that the Giants will meet with Judge:
That wink, though. Farhan can't screw this one up. https://t.co/kYMicq2RBB
— Bonta Hill (@BontaHill) November 22, 2022
let's *ahem* GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO https://t.co/Z7gBrcjptX
— cole kuiper (@cmkuiper) November 22, 2022
A live look at the Giants pitch to Aaron Judge tonight pic.twitter.com/KcCIMsBlxR
— Jonny's Lasagna ⚾️ (@JLasagna43) November 22, 2022
Aaron Judge signing with the Giants would be kinda redundant, if you think about it.
— Christopher Crawford (@Crawford_MILB) November 22, 2022
Aaron Judge has one question to ask himself does he want to be Derek Jeter or Robinson Cano #RepBX
— Eric Katz #repbx (@Sportsteamnews) November 22, 2022