The Yankees and Angels apparently entertained a deal that would have sent star outfielder Aaron Judge to Anaheim, according to ESPN Insider Buster Olney. The talks obviously didn’t go far, but it gives us a peek at the Yankees’ mindset.
Doesn’t necessarily mean the Yankees don’t love Judge in their lineup (because who wouldn’t?). It just means they don’t trust he’ll stay healthy and earn his upcoming payday. That’s fair.
Why this conversation happened
Yankees ownership has a few problems at their doorstep. They’re already spending over $200 million in payroll, and their roster somehow still isn’t good. And the worst part is that Aaron Judge, who hasn’t proven he can stay on the field, is due for an extension this winter.
The 29-year-old, two-time All-Star is expected to command a deal somewhere approaching $300 million, and that’s not ideal for a Yankees team that’s not exactly knocking on the door of contention. Sure, they’ve beaten out their division, but they’re not that competitive come October.
The Big Question:
Does paying Aaron Judge more than $30 million a year for ten seasons in a row help or compound their troubles on the mound going forward? The obvious answer is the extension certainly hurts, however saving money on Judge would certainly compound the problem. Instead, Yankees’ ownership should bite the bullet and give Judge an incentive-laced contract. If Judge plays “X” number of games, then his salary jumps through the roof. Seems fair.
It’s possible that the strikeout, walk, and homer mentality of Aaron Judge doesn’t need to be traded away. What if the Yankees give a deal to Judge and fix the rest of that roster? Maybe more guys like DJ LeMahieu could mask Judge’s flaws rather than ask Judge to change his game. Just a thought.