American League MVP Aaron Judge is a free agent, fresh off one of the best seasons by a power hitter in recent MLB history. While the Yankees likely will do everything in their power to keep him in the Bronx for the long term after failing to sign him to a deal ahead of the 2022 season, the Mets also have been a rumored entrant into the Judge sweepstakes.
A recent report by SNY’s Andy Martino cast some doubt on whether the Mets will look to take the Yankees’ biggest star from them, though.
“Talking to Mets people about this all through the year, the team in Queens sees Judge as a Yankee, uniquely tailored to be an icon in their uniform, stadium and branding efforts,” Martino wrote earlier this month. “Owners Steve Cohen and Hal Steinbrenner enjoy a mutually respectful relationship, and do not expect to upend that with a high-profile bidding war. The only way people involved can see the Mets changing course and pursuing Judge would be if the Yankees somehow declared themselves totally out of the bidding.”
That report is problematic, as it could be seen as artificially driving down Judge’s open market value by taking a potential big-money suitor out of the running for him.
Just weeks later, however, MLB has finished its inquiry into potential collusion between the two New York clubs, an unnamed league executive told Time.
“We’ve completed our investigation,” the executive said. “And we’ve notified the MLBPA that there is no basis for any claim of collusion.”
Whether or not the Mets make a play for Judge, a market is developing for the reigning MVP. On Monday, the outfielder reportedly arrived in the Bay Area, and is set to take a meeting with the Giants this week, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.
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