If the Giants want to sign Aaron Judge, they reportedly could need to commit to nearly a decade of the AL MVP wearing the Orange and Black.
It’s “increasingly likely” that the winning bid in the Judge free-agency sweepstakes will be for nine guaranteed years, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday, citing sources involved in the negotiations.
Judge, who will turn 31 years old in April, reportedly already has a contract offer on the table from the New York Yankees “in the neighborhood” of eight years, $300 million, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
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A nine-year deal would mean Judge will be 39 entering the final year of the contract. The oldest players on MLB rosters to begin the 2022 MLB season included Albert Pujols (42), Nelson Cruz (41) and Robinson Canó (39), to name a few.
In their pursuit of Judge, the Giants have known they’ll need to shell out plenty of cash in order to sign the AL home run king. But will president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi be willing to dole out a nine-year contract, and to a player in his 30s?
If eight years already are on the table, one more couldn’t hurt. But the longest commitment Zaidi made to a position player since joining the Giants’ front office is infielder Tommy La Stella’s three-year, $18.75 million contract.
Famed Giants catcher Buster Posey signed an eight-year, $159 million contract extension in March 2013 under a different regime and walked out on the last year of his deal at 34 years old to retire.
San Francisco Giants
Like Posey, Judge is a superstar -- one San Francisco desperately needs. Zaidi has made it clear the organization has the financial capability to bring the slugger to the Bay, and the latest odds even favor the Giants over the Yankees.
Judge's two-day visit with the Giants at the end of November saw the club's brass pull out all the stops, too, going so far as to connect him with Warriors star Steph Curry.
No matter how high San Francisco’s final offer to Judge is, however, New York might be willing to go even higher in order to keep their homegrown star in the Bronx.
But the 30-year-old is a Northern California native from the small town of Linden, and nine years so close to home has to sound enticing.
With Judge’s big decision expected to come during the 2022 MLB Winter Meetings, which begin Sunday, Giants fans might not have to wait much longer for this exciting saga to end.