Aaron Judge is coming to San Francisco. Actually, he’s already here. The slugger landed in the Bay Area Monday, for a Tuesday meeting with the Giants as they make a free agency pitch for the market’s most enticing player.
While we don’t know exactly what the Giants’ FA pitch to Judge entails, Jon Morosi of MLB Network gave KNBR all the details he’s aware of when it comes to Judge’s free agency and the Giants’ interest.
Most notably, Morosi gave an estimation of what the AL home run king will cost, and said that the Giants and Yankees are by far the two most likely teams to land him.
“What I do know is this,” Morosi began with Papa & Lund. “Based on what a lot of people in the industry are saying, there is a strong confidence that Judge’s guarantee is going to be starting with a three. It’s going to be more than $300 million, however it goes, whether it’s eight years, nine years, 10 years.
“From the Yankees perspective, they were just swept in the American League Championship Series with Judge in their lineup. So from their perspective, missing out on Judge would be a catastrophe. Because how do you replace him? How do you get your team to be at least as good as it was a year ago, which clearly wasn’t even close to being good enough. So if you’re Judge and his agents, you like the landscape.”
In Morosi’s estimation it’s a two-horse race, even if the Dodgers are also expected to make a play for Judge.
“There’s an overwhelming chance that he’ll sign with the Yankees or the Giants, that they probably account for 80 to 90% of the outcome at least from where I sit, looking at this market right now,” Morosi said. “And I think he’s going to have plenty of money at either place. He cannot lose because he’s got the right teams involved, at the right time, coming off the right kind of season.”
As far as today’s meeting, video surfaced on Monday night of Judge in San Francisco, with the right fielder saying he was here to meet family. In reality, Judge took part in an all-day meeting with the Giants on Tuesday, likely at Oracle Park.
“My understanding is that this meeting is still going on,” Morosi said at noon on Tuesday. “It’s sort of an all-day experience where he’s going to see the ballpark, maybe do a little more homework on what it would be like to live in the Bay Area and all those things about life away from baseball, that [is part of] any free agent recruitment process or any executive recruitment process.
“I would expect the Giants will play heavily on that emotion. That’s both an authentic thing to do and the right thing to do. Because this is the team with which Aaron Judge fell in love with the game.
“There’s a certain part of your life when you fall in love with a team and it’s your sport and it becomes your career. It’s a part of you,” Morosi said.
Obviously, the dream scenario is that Judge chooses the Giants over the Yankees this offseason, but that’s far from a guarantee. Morosi mentioned a few other directions that San Francisco might focus their attention whether or not they can convince Judge to come out West.
“The Giants could certainly get a middle infielder as well,” Morosi said. “Whether that’s Kolton Wong…the great irony would be if they sign Aaron Judge away and then they call Brian Cashman and say ‘hey, how about Gleyber Torres while we’re at it in a trade.’”
“They’re fortunate in that there are a lot of free agents in the middle of the diamond available to them,” Morosi continued, “that I think would help you transition in the post-Brandon Crawford era. Do I expect the Giants to sign both Aaron Judge and Trea Turner? Probably not. I think that would be a little bold, maybe even bolder than we expect from them. Then again, I would have said a year ago that I didn’t expect the Rangers to sign both [Corey] Seager and [Marcus] Semien and lo and behold that’s what happened.”
Listen to the full interview below. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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