Trading Aaron Judge Not a Possibility for Yankees

Trading Aaron Judge Not a Possibility for Yankees

by July 20, 2021 0 comments

ESPN’s Buster Olney brought up a hypothetical situation during the Yankees’ Sunday night win over the Red Sox where the New York Yankees trade Aaron Judge.

“…the word from other executives, from executives of other teams is, the perception of the Yankees five days ago was that they were definitely going to be buyers,” Olney said late in the game. “But I can tell you they are also watching them very closely in the aftermath of this COVID outbreak because, if they do collapse, executives of other teams are wondering will the Yankees flip and become sellers like they did in 2016 with Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller.”

If you’re not a Yankees fan and are looking at their situation from afar, you likely don’t believe they are World Series caliber so it’s a situation that could occur.

“If that happens, the player that executives of other teams are really curious about is Aaron Judge who, of course, the Yankees have a very big decision they have to make with him before he becomes a free agent in 2022,” Olney continued. “Do they invest long term in him before his free agency? They’re going to have to make that choice between now and fall 2022. That’s why folks with other teams are wondering, ‘You know what, if it really goes badly for the Yankees in the next nine days, would they actually begin to consider making that big move the way they did with Chapman and Miller in 2016?'”

No, the Yankees wouldn’t make that move.

Don’t the Yanks Want to Win Next Year?

If the Yankees trade Judge, how would fans expect their team to win? Judge leads the Yankees in batting average, home runs, RBI, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and runs scored. That’s would be the team’s best offensive production not on the team anymore.

And the Yankees are supposed to realistically think they’ll get an outfielder better than him in a trade or free agency? When Judge is healthy, there are only a handful of outfielders in the league who are better than him: Juan Soto, Mike Trout, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Mookie Betts. They are obviously not available.

The free agent class in 2021 is not strong whatsoever. Miami’s Starling Marte is the best available outfielder, and there’s no way that Mets owner Steve Cohen is going to allow Michael Conforto to walk across town and sign in the Bronx.

New Face of the Franchise

There’s no way Yankees fans would be okay with Brian Cashman trading the face of their franchise, especially at the start of Gerrit Cole‘s Yankee career. Judge literally has a fan section in the right field seats. There are Judge shirts and jerseys all over the place in New York.

Trading him would mean that Cole becomes the face of the franchise. The same guy who obviously cheated by using Spider Tack? That wouldn’t be a great look.

Short Term Deal is Better Option

If New York had the option of trading Judge (because he doesn’t have a track record of staying healthy) or signing him to a short term, high AAV deal, the Yankees would choose the latter. Like I mentioned earlier, there aren’t many great outfielders in baseball but Judge is one of them.

Some people aren’t realizing the Yankees don’t have to sign Judge to a long contract like Betts and Bryce Harper signed in recent years. If Judge gets to free agency, would other teams offer him long term deals? Probably because they know he can be the face of their franchise and sell a lot of jerseys. The Yankees have an advantage over other teams though because they’re the only ones who can negotiate with him right now.

If they sit down with Judge in a room and give him a two year deal worth $80 million, Judge might take that because he gets life changing money and can prove to the Yankees he can stay healthy. If he does that then he could cash in on more money down the road.

Regardless of whether the Yankees buy or sell, they won’t be trading Judge because they aren’t going to find a better outfielder on the market and can still win next year.

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