Free agent outfielder Aaron Judge was spotted in San Francisco Monday night, according to video from MLB Network.
Judge is the top free agent available and as such, has unsurprisingly been drawing interest from big market teams.
After finishing with 107 wins in 2021, the Giants fell to just 81 in 2022. That was 30 games behind the first-place Dodgers. As a result, they’ve repeatedly expressed their willingness to spend on major free agents after a disappointing 2022 season.
Judge’s free agency has already generated fascinating subplots, such as a collusion investigation between the Yankees and rival Mets.
When asked about the reasons for his visit to the Bay Area, Judge played coy. According to Fox News, he said he was there “Visiting some family and friends, that’s about it. That’s about it.”
Judge grew up in a small town about 100 miles east of San Francisco, making it a somewhat reasonable defense.
While it’s certainly understandable for him to meet with all the interested teams, it still seems like the most likely outcome is him ending up back in New York.
Where Does Judge Wind Up?
The Giants and Yankees appear to be the early frontrunners, but the Dodgers also have rumored interest.
With Judge’s contract demands expected to be massive in terms of money and length, it’ll be fascinating to see who meets his requirements.
The Giants certainly have the money and need, and the marginally local connection could be intriuging.
But players almost always go with whoever offers the most money. The Yankees have the game’s deepest pockets, and Judge means more to them than he does to any other organization.
The Yankees will have much to answer for if they’re outbid after his record setting season.
But until it’s official, Yankees fans will be watching these visits with extreme interest.