When Aaron Judge re-signed with the New York Yankees for a massive $360 million deal over the next nine seasons and was named the franchise’s 16th captain, the choice seemed obvious for the homegrown talent.
But when Judge was the top prize on the free agent market, his return to the West Coast — he grew up in Linden, California — was a real possibility when he was seen in San Francisco for a meeting with the Giants, the team he rooted for as a kid.
The San Diego Padres were also in the running. Owner Peter Seidler and general manager A.J. Preller have been aggressive recently trying to get to the World Series again. And Judge was once at the top of their wish list.
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Judge traveled to San Diego to hear the Padres’ offer, and it was massive, according to The Athletic,
Page Odle of PSI Sports Management, who represents Judge, said San Diego offered more than $400 million. The Athletic also had two sources saying it was “in the range of $415 million over a term that would have been at least 12 years.”
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Judge received that astronomical offer after meeting with Seidler, Preller, assistant GM Josh Stein and manager Bob Melvin for a few hours at Petco Park.
Who knows if Judge seriously considered the offer? When you break down the math, $415 million over 12 seasons would come out to an average annual value of $34.5 million.
With the Yankees’ deal, Judge is making $40 million per season. Being a part of the rare captain’s club in the Bronx sweetened the deal.
Ultimately, The Athletic said, the Padres weren’t surprised Judge stuck with the Yankees, and they continued to swing away. Trea Turner also spurned the Padres’ $342 million offer to join the Philadelphia Phillies, who defeated the Padres to advance to last season’s World Series. Turner received a $300 million deal.
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Seidler and Preller ended up locking in former Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, while extending Yu Darvish and Manny Machado to keep their core intact. Combining them with Juan Soto, who the Padres landed before MLB’s trade deadline last season, and Fernando Tatis Jr., the Padres are still set to make a championship run.