The SF Giants will boast more financial flexibility than just about every big-market club this offseason but will that be enough to pry Aaron Judge away from the New York Yankees? Every little bit helps, and former Giants legend Barry Bonds has voiced his opinion on what Judge should do.
SF Giants legendary outfielder begins recruiting pitch for impending free agent
Before Judge even reaches free agency, he is focused on having one of the more historically great seasons in baseball history. He has blasted 60 home runs on the year and is one behind Roger Maris for the American League home-run record.
Though, breaking Bonds' 73-homer record appears unlikely with 11 games to go in season. With that being said, count Bonds as one of Judge's biggest fans as the all-time home run leader admitted to Barry Bloom of Sportico in a recent interview.
Bonds not only stated his desire to see Judge break his single-season home run record, but he added that he would like to see the longtime Yankees outfielder sign with the Giants in the offseason:
"“I hope he signs here [San Francisco]. Can it happen? I don’t know. It depends on what the Yankee payroll is. But we would love to have him, I’ll tell you that""- Barry Bonds
The Yankees tried to extend Judge earlier in the season with contract parameters reported at seven years and $213.5 million. The right-handed slugger rejected that proposal, believing that he could earn more than that and this is a decision that will pay off handsomely.
Since debuting with the Yankees in 2016, Judge quickly emerged as one of the best players in baseball. However, he has taken his performance to another level in 2022 as he has registered a .314/.420/.696 line (208 wRC+) with 60 home runs, 128 RBI, and 125 runs in 654 plate appearances. This includes a 15.0 percent walk rate against a 25.2 percent strikeout rate.
He leads baseball in nearly every meaningful offensive category and should be considered the heavy favorite to take home the AL MVP award.
The 30-year-old outfielder will likely receive a contract in excess of $300 million as teams bid for his services. Will the Giants reel him in? That does not seem likely but they should be involved in the bidding war.
If he does come over to San Francisco, he would be the biggest free-agent addition since Bonds inked a six-year, $43.75 million pact in 1992. Bonds has officially thrown his hat in the ring for what he thinks Judge should do. He likely will not be the last Giants legend to motivate the front office to try and strike a deal with Judge.