By Andrew Cheigh
After a historic MVP season with the New York Yankees in which Aaron Judge hit 62 home runs, the most of any American League player in a single season, the sweepstakes for the 30 year old slugger is officially underway. Nearly every team in the MLB, if they have the financial ability to do so, are willing to pay the biggest bucks for Judge, as reports predict that he may surpass the highest annual value of Mike Trout’s $37.1M for any position player. Just recently, Judge was seen meeting with the Giants in San Francisco, where much of his family lives, giving the Giants some leverage over others. Coming into free agency, Judge has made it clear that he is looking for a team that will be strong enough to make a push for a World Series championship. Thus, many believe the Los Angeles Dodgers to be one of the biggest potential suitors for Judge, as they have the money and talent that would lure Judge to their team. However, according to MLB Network inside Jon Heyman, the Yankees “hold the edge” in signing Judge. At the Owners Meeting earlier this month, Hal Steinbrenner, the owner of the Yankees, announced that he will outbid everyone for Judge and that he has already discussed with Judge that the Yankees have the money to re-sign him while also making additional moves to win a championship. “My budget for Judge is going to be what I feel we can do,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s not limitless, obviously…in my opinion, we’re going to be able to sign Aaron. That’s not going to stop me from signing other people.” Clearly, the Yankees are confident that they can sign the superstar slugger. Despite the failures of the last decade for the Yankees, the team and its fans feel optimistic about this free agency in not only signing Judge, but also pursuing other players to bring a 28th World Series Championship trophy to the Bronx.