ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported this morning that the San Diego Padres were one of three finalists for Aaron Judge. San Diego pivoted to Judge after losing out on Trea Turner on Monday.
Aaron Judge flew into San Diego at the last minute to decide among three teams: the New York Yankees, the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres. The Yankees bumped their offer to nine years and $360 million, and in the end, Judge decided he wanted to remain a Yankee.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 7, 2022
Judge was a positional fit for the Padres, as they have been looking for a corner bat. When I asked Preller yesterday at the Winter Meetings if he had expressed interest in Judge, he didn’t say they weren’t interested so I assumed they had some level of desire for the AL MVP.
It appears Judge always wanted to return to the Yankees. The San Francisco Giants likely would’ve increased their offer to more than $360 million but all the Yankees had to do was match San Francisco’s offer for a deal to be made.
Now the Padres should be shifting their focus to adding either one of the big starting pitchers or shortstops. If they’re willing to spend over $300 million on Turner and Judge, why wouldn’t they be willing to spend that on Carlos Correa or likely less than $300 million on Xander Bogaerts?