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Surprise team was in on Aaron Judge before he signed with Yankees

The New York Yankees fought long and hard to keep free agent Aaron Judge on the roster, and they ultimately won, but other teams didn’t make it easy.

The New York Yankees initially offered Aaron Judge a hefty eight-year deal worth $300 million, but he turned it down knowing other teams were bound to be competitive and offer more. It was well-known the San Francisco Giants were after him, but the San Diego Padres reportedly met with Judge on Tuesday, per Dennis Lin and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The Padres reportedly never got to make a formal bid on the player, but it was expected to be a massive one as they offered Trea Turner a $342-million deal over at least 11 years but missed out on him to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Between the Giants, the Padres and any other team that may have come up during the winter meetings, the Yankees had to raise their offer to the max. They made a solid deal with Judge without pushing him into his age 40 season.

Yankees made a smart deal with Aaron Judge

While it is a long and expensive contract, it was necessary to compete with the Giants and the Padres. Judge isn’t showing signs of slowing down either, and after a historic season, he’s certainly proven that he’s worth the biggest contract in league history.

Judge broke the 61-year-old single-season home run record with 62 homers over the 2022 regular season, and he led the league in several stats, including WAR (10.6), on-base percentage (.425), slugging percentage (.686), OPS (1.111), runs (133), total bases (391) and homers, among many others.

He was also in talks of a Triple Crown, one of the rarest achievements in baseball. He had a truly high-caliber season, and while his previous seasons weren’t as explosive, they were still far above average, proving he’s consistently capable of a lot.

He may be in his age 30 season now, but he seems to just be hitting his fullest potential. It’s understandable why so many teams were going all out for him, and the Yanks made a smart move of playing the system while still keeping him under 10 years.

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