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

New York Yankees v San Francisco Giants
New York Yankees v San Francisco Giants / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge has blasted three home runs this weekend at Oracle Park. It has many fans wondering what the SF Giants front office could have done differently in their pursuit of the slugger. At the end of the day, Judge was not leaving New York.

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

The Giants made a valiant attempt. There is no doubt about that. Some within the ownership group gave off the impression that the Giants would not be outbid for Judge. Similar sentiments were shared with Shohei Ohtani and it will likely occur again when Juan Soto reaches free agency after this year.

Judge and his team did do a nice job of creating the impression that he would consider leaving New York. There was the video of him winking to the camera as he arrived in San Francisco to meet with Giants representatives. That video leaking was obviously intentional. Of course, there was the Time piece where he foresaw himself playing for the Giants down the road. This came out two days before he officially decided to return to the Yankees.

Lastly, it is clear that Judge's representatives baited MLB insiders like Jon Heyman into believing that he would leave New York. In fact, Heyman posted the now infamous tweet saying that Judge had chosen the Giants.

In free agency, players can create levers to gain an edge. For Judge and his team, it was creating the sense that he would sign with San Francisco. Judge grew up in Northern California and was a fan of the Giants as a kid. Being able to return to those roots holds significant appeal.

That said, Judge has become a legend in New York. This was true before he even reached free agency. The power-hitting outfielder was coming off of a season in which he blasted 62 home runs, setting a new AL record for home runs in a single season. That record had been held by Roger Maris for 60 years.

So, the Giants were certainly facing an uphill battle in trying to land the star outfielder. A hill that they would likely never reach. They made a legitimate offer, but that offer was leveraged for the Yankees to match.

So long as the Yankees had a chance to match any offer, Judge was going to return to the Yankees. The first half of his career has been incredibly impressive, but now he gets to finish his career in New York as the captain. These are qualities you just cannot put a price on. Few players get a chance to spend their entire career with one team. Even a player like Juan Soto is already on his third team.

Judge is on a Hall of Fame trajectory. Someday, there will be a statue of him outside of New York Stadium. His name will be discussed in the same way that Yankees fans admire greats like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DiMaggio.

Plus, the Giants are still struggling to combat the fact that they have a bit of a stale product and that matters in free agency. They had changed that narrative to some extent by spending big in free agency. Having a team that can compete with a talent roster is one of the many non-financial factors that can help land a free agent. The Giants have only reach the playoffs once since the start of 2017.

The 32-year-old outfielder would not have necessarily thrown anything away by choosing San Francisco. However, putting up incredible numbers with one team that will someday land him in Cooperstown is a legacy that few have experienced in baseball.

So, did the Giants miss out on Judge in free agency. Sure, they made an attempt. Though, he was never leaving New York, so it is tough to say that they missed out on something that was extremely unlikely in the first place.