The Giants meant business: they hosted a visit for Judge, they were his favorite team growing up, and they made a competitive offer believed to be in the same range (if not slightly better) than the Yankees’ winning bid of nine years and $360 million.
In the end, however, the Yankees came out on top when they decided to add a ninth year at the same $40 million per year salary.
They were reportedly at eight years and $320 million when Judge told Hal Steinbrenner he wanted to remain a Yankee but had better offers elsewhere.
Their pursuit of Judge and his eventual refusal to join the Giants could leave a bad taste in fans’ mouths ahead of what’s coming in 2023.
“Opening Day in New York: #SFGiants at #Yankees, 113 days from now,” MLB insider Jon Morosi tweeted.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 7, 2022
An Attractive Opening Day Game
That’s right: the Yankees will open their season in the Bronx against the Giants, in what it actually an old rivalry from when the latter played in New York.
This time, the rivalry could be about Judge.
That’s something for fans, however: Gabe Kapler, the Giants’ manager, actually congratulated the Yankees at the Winter Meetings for “winning” the Judge sweepstakes in a classy move.
Perhaps Judge’s camp “used” the Giants to increase the Yankees offer, but it’s all part of the free agent process and there is no way to prove it.
No one made a dirty move or comment in negotiations, and it was all pretty standard.
That doesn’t mean that Opening Day game won’t have some added spice for the Giants and, particularly, their fans.