June 18, 2024

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees hit three home runs this weekend at Oracle Park. Many fans are questioning what the San Francisco Giants’ executive office should have done better in their pursuit of the slugger. At the end of the day, Judge would not leave New York.

The claim that the SF Giants missed out on Aaron Judge is a false narrative

The Giants made a brave effort. There is no dispute about this. Some in the ownership group gave the sense that the Giants would not be outbid on Judge. Similar sentiments were shared with Shohei Ohtani, and it is likely to happen again when Juan Soto becomes free agent after this year.

Judge and his crew did a good job of giving the impression that he was considering leaving New York. There was a video of him winking at the camera when he arrived in San Francisco to meet with Giants executives. The video leak was certainly planned. Of course, there was the Time story where he saw himself playing for the Giants in the future. This came out two days before he formally decided to rejoin the Yankees.

Finally, it is evident that Judge’s handlers misled MLB insiders such as Jon Heyman into assuming he would leave New York. In reality, Heyman sent out the now-infamous tweet claiming that Judge had picked the Giants.

In free agency, players can use levers to obtain an advantage. For Judge and his team, it gave the impression that he would sign with San Francisco. Judge grew up in northern California and was a Giants fan as a child. Being able to return to those roots is quite appealing.

Nonetheless, Judge has become a legend in New York. This was true even before he became a free agent. The power-hitting outfielder had just set a new AL record with 62 home runs in a single season. Roger Maris has held the record for sixty years.

So the Giants had an uphill battle in acquiring the great outfielder. A hill they would most likely never reach. They made a legitimate offer, but it was leveraged such that the Yankees could match.


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Judge would return to the Yankees as long as the team has the option of matching any deal. His first half of his career has been extremely impressive, and he now has the opportunity to conclude it as captain in New York. These are attributes that simply cannot be priced. Few players get the opportunity to spend their entire career with a single team. Even a guy like Juan Soto is on his third team.

Judge is on track to become a Hall of Famer. Someday, there will be a statue of him outside New York Stadium. His name will be mentioned in the same way that Yankees fans honor greats such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DiMaggio.

Furthermore, the Giants are still fighting to overcome the idea that their product is somewhat stale, which is important in free agency. They had shifted the narrative to some extent by spending much in free agency. One of the numerous non-financial elements that can aid in the recruitment of a free agent is having a club capable of competing with a talented squad. The Giants have only made it to the playoffs once since the beginning of 2017.

The 32-year-old outfielder would not have wasted anything by picking San Francisco. However, putting up amazing numbers with one team that will eventually place him in Cooperstown is a legacy that few have had in baseball.

So, did the Giants miss out on Judge during free agency? Yes, they made an attempt. However, he would never leave New York, so it is difficult to argue that they missed out on something that was exceedingly unlikely in the first place.

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