The offseason has not officially begun even though it feels that way with the long gap between the championship series and the World Series. However, the offseason chatter is on fire with rumors surrounding star outfielder Aaron Judge and the SF Giants.
Rumor: SF Giants "prepared to spend whatever it takes" to land Aaron Judge
Randy Miller of NJ.Com provided some of the most interesting information yet regarding the Giants' pursuit of Judge. The recruiting cannot officially begin, but the Giants have been unusually open in relaying their strategy.
After speaking with an anonymous member of the ownership group, Miller confirms that money will not be an issue with Judge:
""Judge is at the top of the Giants list and they won’t be underbid. If they miss out, it won’t be because of money.""- Anonymous Giants source within ownership
How are the Giants going to recruit Judge, especially since they are light on star talent? Miller sheds light on that strategy as well:
""The person added that the Giants planned to entice Judge further by signing at least two-high priced free agents""- Randy Miller
The Giants have been connected to the power-hitting outfielder often this season, so it feels like there is substance to these rumors. For better or worse, this is probably the most public pursuit of a free agent that the Giants have had since they signed reliever Mark Melancon to a four-year, $64 million pact after the 2016 season.
I tend to remain cautious when information like this is revealed because you don't want to get too excited before any decision is even made. This is true considering Judge is the type of free agent who will be pursued by just about every big-market team. Even the Giants' decision rivals will likely try to sway the 30-year-old outfielder to Los Angeles.
However, if you connect the dots, the Giants do seem like a plausible landing spot. There are a lot of reasons why Judge would choose San Francisco including money. The Yankees are not outbid often, but the Giants have way more salary cap space than New York?
Does the salary cap, which is a soft salary cap in baseball, get in the way of pursuing a free agent like Judge? It is unlikely, but it is a feather that the Giants have in their cap.
Of course, Judge is looking to secure a massive payday after setting an American League record in 2022 with 62 home runs. The right-handed bat has appeared in four All-Star games in seven seasons and he is a heavy favorite to take home this year's AL MVP award. The Giants have plenty of financial flexibility and it is going to take a lot of that to reel in a player of Judge's caliber.