The biggest name in baseball’s free agent market has yet to give a sign of where it’s going. But the team he cheered for as a kid is making a concerted effort to bring him home.
Free agent Aaron Judge conducts his free agency meetings with the San Francisco Giants – who rolled out the red carpet to convince him to return to Northern California.
As part of that effort, they enlisted the help of the biggest sports star in the Bay Area – Golden State Warriors starter Stephen Curry.
According to NBC Sports Bay Area, Judge was linked to Curry’s people in hopes the two superstar athletes could talk.
That was just part of a larger effort to convince Judge to make his way to San Francisco — and dump the New York Yankees in the process.
In addition to the team’s efforts, current members of the Giants roster attempted to lure Judge to the Bay Area. Outfielder Joc Pederson fantasized about Judge joining them when he posted a picture of Judge in a Giants jersey to his Instagram account.
From all indications, the judge isn’t close to making a decision on his next target. It is speculated that he could travel to Los Angeles to meet with the Dodgers. Speaking about the most important issue in this process, he said he needs to be on a team “that is committed to winning”.
“I’m excited to start the free agent process,” Judge said last week after winning the AL MVP award.
“I don’t know how fast or slow it will go. There are teams we spoke to. For me it’s always an advantage when we want to build a successful team if I can get my stuff out of the way. Once I engage with it, it can move fast or slow. You never really know.”
In addition to the two California-based teams, the Yankees have made an offer to keep Judge in pinstripes as long as he plays baseball.
They’d have to raise a decent chunk of cash — with the belief that Judge expects a $300 million+ payday. Earlier this year, Judge turned down a seven-year, $213 million bid from the Yankees.
Judge hails from the town of Linden, California, near the town of Stockton and about 90 miles from Oracle Park on the west side of San Francisco Bay.
If he signs with the Giants, it won’t be the first Northern California team Judge is on. He was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 31st round of the 2010 MLB draft, but the judge chose college instead.