If the New York Yankees are ready to part with Aaron Judge, these teams should already be calling Brian Cashman.
The MLB trade deadline is three months away, but there’s never a bad time to consider speculation going back to the offseason or looking ahead. To that end, as part of a longer piece, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported the New York Yankees briefly discussed a trade involving outfielder Aaron Judge with the Los Angeles Angels last offseason.
Olney described the talks as the “lightest of flirtations”, and talks didn’t get far. The Angels were surely exploring outfield options, eventually getting Dexter Fowler from the Cardinals in what was a salary-dump for St. Louis.
There’s no denying Judge’s prowess as a power hitter. But he has struggled to stay healthy, playing 112, 102 and 28 games (out of 60 of course last year) over the last three seasons. Per 162 games from 2018-2020, he averaged 43 home runs.
But Judge turned 29 on Monday, so he’s no longer a young player. He’s also only under team control through the 2022 season, with a reasonable $10.18 million salary this year, which invites the idea the Yankees would trade the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year in the right deal.
If the Yankees are ready to entertain moving on from Judge, and that is still a fairly big ‘if’ all things considered, there will be teams with interest in making a deal for him.
5 teams who should already be calling the Yankees about Aaron Judge
We’ll call this a “reverse Giancarlo Stanton”, with the major difference being the Yankees taking on Stanton’s massive contract in that deal with Miami. After being a surprise playoff team in 2020, the Marlins are competing in a deep NL East until further notice. So the idea of some significant moves isn’t far-fetched.
A deal to bring Judge to Miami could come together better in the offseason, when Judge will be heading into his final year of arbitration unless he gets an extension from the Yankees. The Marlins can tap into a top-end farm system to get the Yankees’ attention, either in the coming months or in the winter.