Judge for Ourselves

If he makes it to free agency, should the Red Sox go all-in to sign Aaron Judge?


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E5 Yaz

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This came up in the game thread last night and has been batted around in various threads, so it's time for a poll:

If the Yankees don't preemptively take Aaron Judge out of the free agent market, would you want the Red Sox to go all in to sign him?

I'm in the NO camp, since a) I'd rather they use the money on Xander and Raffy and 2) Judge's age and injury history makes a long-term deal dicey.

But that's just me; what say you?
 

Kliq

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I mean...the answer has to be 6. Yes as long as it isn't cost-prohibitive. If you can get Judge on a good deal you do it; but that isn't going to happen.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I voted yes if it's not cost-prohibitive. Of course, that's generally my answer to any question of whether the Sox should pursue a given free agent. If they can sign him to a deal that doesn't handcuff them in the future or incur unnecessary luxury tax costs or penalties, why not do it?
 

E5 Yaz

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I mean...the answer has to be 6. Yes as long as it isn't cost-prohibitive. If you can get Judge on a good deal you do it; but that isn't going to happen.
Logically, of course, you're right. Butt as you note, our logic isn't based in reality, which is why 6 is the wish casting response.
i'm more concerned about the risks of what the actual contract will look like.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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The offer he turned down (reportedly 7/$215M) is already cost prohibitive in my view, and the cost has clearly gone up. If we were to sign Aaron Judge for 8/$240, which we probably won't be able to, which one of Xander or Devers do you want to let go? You'll probably be paying the one who stays almost as much as Judge.
 

Daniel_Son

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I voted 8 because my bar for "cost-prohibitive" is significantly higher than it would be for most other players. He fits too well into our current needs, and I think Bloom needs to make a big splash in order to appease JHW (and the fanbase by extension). It just makes too much sense. Even removing his Bondsian 2022, he's still averaging 30+ homers a season with a .391 OBP and a 154 OPS+. Not to mention filling a significant defensive need on the team. That's a guy I think is worth paying a premium for.
 
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Every other really tall player has fallen off a cliff in their early 30s. It makes sense, since there's so much strikezone to cover and any loss of hand-eye coordination will create huge holes for pitchers to exploit. But Judge also plays centerfield and can steal bases. Maybe he's more athletic than those comps and will defy the aging curves longer.
 

Mooch

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Every other really tall player has fallen off a cliff in their early 30s. It makes sense, since there's so much strikezone to cover and any loss of hand-eye coordination will create huge holes for pitchers to exploit. But Judge also plays centerfield and can steal bases. Maybe he's more athletic than those comps and will defy the aging curves longer.
Are we counting Dave Winfield as "really tall"? Because he put up some pretty excellent seasons into his mid-30s.
 

Max Power

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Are we counting Dave Winfield as "really tall"? Because he put up some pretty excellent seasons into his mid-30s.
I was thinking guys like Frank Howard and Richie Sexson, but Winfield was almost as big and much more athletic. He might be a better comp for Judge than the big mashers.
 

jon abbey

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Just to get my opinion on the record, I am obviously a NY fan, but I would vote 'No' for Boston pursuing him simply because IMO he is not going anywhere except the Yankees or a California team, most likely SF who he grew up rooting for. So IMO it is a waste of Boston's time to pursue him.

(not looking for an argument here, clearly I don't know any more than anyone else, just posting for posterity after we know how this turns out)
 

E5 Yaz

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Just to get my opinion on the record, I am obviously a NY fan, but I would vote 'No' for Boston pursuing him simply because IMO he is not going anywhere except the Yankees or a California team, most likely SF who he grew up rooting for. So IMO it is a waste of Boston's time to pursue him.
Almost added a "waste of time" option, but we feel bad enough about the state of the franchise as it is, so it felt like piling on
 

Mr. Stinky Esq.

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Just to get my opinion on the record, I am obviously a NY fan, but I would vote 'No' for Boston pursuing him simply because IMO he is not going anywhere except the Yankees or a California team, most likely SF who he grew up rooting for. So IMO it is a waste of Boston's time to pursue him.

(not looking for an argument here, clearly I don't know any more than anyone else, just posting for posterity after we know how this turns out)
Would you include the Mets in the list of his possible destinations? Seems like his value to a team and to himself (via endorsements and the like) would be maximized by remaining in NYC.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I think the Sox have to at least kick the tires on him, if only to drive up the price. I doubt he'll age well and doubt he really wants to be here for the reasons Jon Abbey expressed above, but if the Sox' interest throws Hal into a panic then I'm all for it.
 

jon abbey

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Would you include the Mets in the list of his possible destinations? Seems like his value to a team and to himself (via endorsements and the like) would be maximized by remaining in NYC.
Maybe, but the rumors are that Cohen isn't going to pursue him, he is focused on keeping DeGrom and Diaz.
 

OCD SS

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I voted "other" since I don't think I can simultaneously vote for options # 2 & 6. There also isn't an option for "bid just to drive up the price for NY."

I am wary of his size and injury history at his current age, and don't like him on a 7 year deal. I don't see a world in which option 6 is even possible, but honestly I'd be surprised if Cashman is willing to go too far over his public offer no matter the outcry from the Bronx. George isn't standing behind him with a cattle prod anymore.
 

jon abbey

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honestly I'd be surprised if Cashman is willing to go too far over his public offer no matter the outcry from the Bronx.
It's so hard to guess this kind of thing as there is so much we don't know, but he offered 7/217 before the season and I bet he would go up to 8/320 now. I said it before the season, Judge is the very rare situation where the team needs him more than he needs them, and that was before this behemoth of a season.
 

Niastri

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I mean...the answer has to be 6. Yes as long as it isn't cost-prohibitive. If you can get Judge on a good deal you do it; but that isn't going to happen.
What is cost prohibitive? If they drop $40 million on Judge and $30 million on Bogaerts, they still have ~$30 million on next year's budget before hitting the luxury tax to use patching other holes.

If you cross your fingers, you could see a decent pitching staff from our young pitchers, Sale, Paxton and whatever inexpensive reclamation projects Bloom uncovers.

The lineup would be great, especially if Casas and one of Cordero/Dalbec harness their power effectively.
 

E5 Yaz

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What is cost prohibitive? If they drop $40 million on Judge and $30 million on Bogaerts, they still have ~$30 million on next year's budget before hitting the luxury tax to use patching other holes.
It's not the one-year cost that is prohibitive. It's the $40M for seven or so years that is untenable
 

Mr. Stinky Esq.

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It's so hard to guess this kind of thing as there is so much we don't know, but he offered 7/217 before the season and I bet he would go up to 8/320 now. I said it before the season, Judge is the very rare situation where the team needs him more than he needs them, and that was before this behemoth of a season.
Right, how could he not go up from his pre-season offer? There's no discount for the unknown in 2022 anymore and Judge bet big on himself and is having a career year. So take away that discount for the possible 2022 decline or injury priced into the pre-season offer and add a premium for him coming off of an MVP year and it has to go (way) up.
 

grimshaw

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I was thinking guys like Frank Howard and Richie Sexson, but Winfield was almost as big and much more athletic. He might be a better comp for Judge than the big mashers.
Big Hurt?

Anyhow, Judge is someone I would stretch for and went for a mix of all three. They have all sorts of room to play with, he is still playing a premium position and can slide into left and then 1b and DH as he ages. Worry about Raffy after next season.

I consider "cost prohibitive" anything over 7 years. Don't care about AAV since there aren't many other free agents to break the bank on.
 

ookami7m

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Obviously the right answer is 6 (if not cost prohibitive) but because of 1 and 2 (spend it elsewhere and his age/injury history) I don't think cost prohibitive will mean to us what it will mean to some other team.
 

moondog80

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Hmmm. The Sox gave Manny 20 mil a year for 8 years. The payroll has approximately doubled since then -- is there a perfectly linear relationship where we can say they could afford pay Judge double what Manny got and still have enough payroll room to field a quality team?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Hmmm. The Sox gave Manny 20 mil a year for 8 years. The payroll has approximately doubled since then -- is there a perfectly linear relationship where we can say they could afford pay Judge double what Manny got and still have enough payroll room to field a quality team?
I think the days of the Sox giving out really massive contracts are over. I can't see them paying anyone $40 million a year.
 

brs3

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The Sox could afford him at any cost(plz, I have no interest in budget/payroll arguments), but I'd rather they get into a bidding war to increase the Yankees spending as much as possible and let them pay the final number.
 

E5 Yaz

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I think the days of the Sox giving out really massive contracts are over. I can't see them paying anyone $40 million a year.
I tend to agree. At the risk of a sidetrack, I see them going more toward the Kraft/Belichick model ... have a healthy payroll, but with no outlier contract in the upper tier
 

moondog80

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I think the days of the Sox giving out really massive contracts are over. I can't see them paying anyone $40 million a year.
I don't think anyone will pay Judge $40 mil a year, that's just not where the market is. But as payrolls have doubled why have top salaries logged behind? Why is that that 22 years after A-Rod signed with Texas, that's still looked at as a massive deal, if not quite top of the line? Apparently teams have decided it's better to spread the money around more and not have so much invested in one person?

And FWIW, given the amount of payroll room the Sox will have this year and the desire to spend to the tax without taking on massive long term risk, I wouldn't rule out something like Verlander for 2 years or DeGrom for 3 at something north of 35 mil AAV.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I don't think anyone will pay Judge $40 mil a year, that's just not where the market is. But as payrolls have doubled why have top salaries logged behind? Why is that that 22 years after A-Rod signed with Texas, that's still looked at as a massive deal, if not quite top of the line? Apparently teams have decided it's better to spread the money around more and not have so much invested in one person?

And FWIW, given the amount of payroll room the Sox will have this year and the desire to spend to the tax without taking on massive long term risk, I wouldn't rule out something like Verlander for 2 years or DeGrom for 3 at something north of 35 mil AAV.
I suppose anything could happen, but I would be utterly shocked if they gave any player 35 mil AAV. That's not the way ownership or Bloom seems to want to operate. But I guess we'll see.

As for the total of deals not really changing, it's not a shock given Manfred and the owners' sole goal is to try to keep costs down as much as possible.
 

RedOctober3829

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Yes and full steam ahead. This guy is a great player offensively and defensively and extremely marketable. They have to do something big this offseason even outside of X and Devers. He could play either CF or RF in Fenway.
 

opes

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They collectively have a -.2 fWAR out of CF. He would be the single biggest upgrade they could possibly get.
We need at least:

two OF
one 1b - Casas hopefully
one C
a SS if Bogaerts leaves
four starters
a billion relievers

So yeah, Judge is great, but for the amount of money it would take, we have a ton of other problems.
 

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Yes and full steam ahead. This guy is a great player offensively and defensively and extremely marketable. They have to do something big this offseason even outside of X and Devers. He could play either CF or RF in Fenway.
Hard pass. Nothing worse than doing something for the sake of doing something. Just ask the Angels what it's like to sign 30+ year old players to long term deals coming off career or near career seasons.
 

Max Power

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I don't think anyone will pay Judge $40 mil a year, that's just not where the market is. But as payrolls have doubled why have top salaries logged behind? Why is that that 22 years after A-Rod signed with Texas, that's still looked at as a massive deal, if not quite top of the line? Apparently teams have decided it's better to spread the money around more and not have so much invested in one person?
They're still investing in one person, just over a longer timeframe. A-Rod's contract was for 10 years, but the new Julio Rodriguez deal could run 17 years, so the AAV is lower.
 

chawson

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I'm a yes, though far from optimistic.

Are we sure 2022 Judge isn't a better athlete than 1980s Dave Winfield? What we know about nutrition alone seems galaxies ahead of the '80s. As for other recent mega-deals gone bad, Judge doesn't have much in common with Vernon Wells or Josh Hamilton.

I think Judge's recent statement in the NYT about how size ages in MLB was smart. Most comparable athletes play football or basketball, so it's not like there's a pool of MLB players adequate to make any conclusions. He's likable, fills an enormous need and has been plenty healthy the last two years. It also doesn't hurt that signing him away from the Yankees could represent a 10-15 win swing in the standings, depending on the alternatives.

The Sox need to spend, and it's a pretty weak offseason. (I don't like Nimmo, Turner or Pederson, and while I like Contreras I think we're set at catcher.) I think the FO now draws a hard line on mega-deals for starting pitchers, but we could work with Devers and another one, then use the Sale/Story money to extend either Mayer or Casas in a few years.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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This discussion is getting me wondering: Of the big FAs - Correa, Turner, Judge, Contreras, Diaz, deGrom, Rodon* - which would people be most interested in the Sox pursuing? I know the answer is “all of the above” for many of you, but which one would you prioritize?

(* - I took Xander out of it for the sake of the thought exercise. Did I miss anyone else?)
 

chawson

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This discussion is getting me wondering: Of the big FAs - Correa, Turner, Judge, Contreras, Diaz, deGrom, Rodon* - which would people be most interested in the Sox pursuing? I know the answer is “all of the above” for many of you, but which one would you prioritize?

(* - I took Xander out of it for the sake of the thought exercise. Did I miss anyone else?)
Judge, deGrom, Correa, Rodon, Contreras, Diaz, Turner, in that order.
 

RedOctober3829

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This discussion is getting me wondering: Of the big FAs - Correa, Turner, Judge, Contreras, Diaz, deGrom, Rodon* - which would people be most interested in the Sox pursuing? I know the answer is “all of the above” for many of you, but which one would you prioritize?

(* - I took Xander out of it for the sake of the thought exercise. Did I miss anyone else?)
Either one of the NY free agents would be the most interesting to me. deGrom to me is as entertaining and must watch right now as Pedro was back in the late 90's. It's appointment television living here in the NY area. Taking Judge from the Yankees would be epic.
 

absintheofmalaise

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This discussion is getting me wondering: Of the big FAs - Correa, Turner, Judge, Contreras, Diaz, deGrom, Rodon* - which would people be most interested in the Sox pursuing? I know the answer is “all of the above” for many of you, but which one would you prioritize?

(* - I took Xander out of it for the sake of the thought exercise. Did I miss anyone else?)
Dansby Swanson is a FA after this season, but there are reports that the Braves are in discussions to sign to an extension.
 

absintheofmalaise

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The Sox could afford him at any cost(plz, I have no interest in budget/payroll arguments), but I'd rather they get into a bidding war to increase the Yankees spending as much as possible and let them pay the final number.
But the danger of playing chicken is that your last offer doesn't get topped and the Sox end up signing him to a very expensive and long term deal.
 

nvalvo

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I’d go pretty high for Judge, even if it meant scrimping elsewhere (like catcher). IMO, we pretty clearly need another middle of the order bat, end he fits us well in CF/RF.
 

Spud

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But the danger of playing chicken is that your last offer doesn't get topped and the Sox end up signing him to a very expensive and long term deal.
That's very true, but I tend to come at this purely as a fan, without much consideration of the risk the ownership group takes in ending up with a winning bid for one of the best players in the game and, except for his current uniform, a seemingly likeable young man.

As a fan, I don't really care how much money ownership spends, because it's not my money. Instead, if we want to compete with the big players on the field, we need to also compete with them off the field. And there's a number of ways the Sox can do that.

1. Draft well -- they seem to have improved at this in recent years.

2. Have a top-tier minor league development system. I'm no expert on the subject, but this seems to be improving as well, especially with pitchers.

3. Be willing to spend big money, even if the risk of eating some or a lot of it is there. I think this is the area that is driving me and others nuts, because ownership just does not seem willing to do this (Sale being the exception). Would it be fiscally prudent of ownership to sign Judge, Devers, and Xander to medium or long-term deals? I don't know and I don't really care. Again, because it's not my money, I think they can afford it, and I don't really care about the luxury tax.

4. More Diekman for starting catcher trades. Bloom seems pretty good at trolling the depths for pearls. Here's hoping he ends up with more hits than misses.

5. Send Verdugo and Downs to LAD for Mookie (contract and all). I like Verdugo, but he's no Mookie!
 

chrisfont9

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I think the Sox have to at least kick the tires on him, if only to drive up the price. I doubt he'll age well and doubt he really wants to be here for the reasons Jon Abbey expressed above, but if the Sox' interest throws Hal into a panic then I'm all for it.
Is that really a thing? Maybe in some cases, but I don't think you want to do that to the Yankees. The payback wouldn't be great. Also, they have their own contracts to deal with, and if they ignore Devers and Bogaerts, coming on the heels of trading Betts, then dole out huge money to Story and try to pay Judge -- that's a really bad look on a lot of levels.
 

opes

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5. Send Verdugo and Downs to LAD for Mookie (contract and all). I like Verdugo, but he's no Mookie!
And how many other players are you willing to send in this absolutely not possible scenario? You would be talking a Soto'esqe trade situation. Of which we wouldnt have enough good prospects to send even. Meaning, you can't just call up any team and say hey, we will take your best player for lotto tickets and whatever you are paying him. It doesn't work like that.
 

absintheofmalaise

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That's very true, but I tend to come at this purely as a fan, without much consideration of the risk the ownership group takes in ending up with a winning bid for one of the best players in the game and, except for his current uniform, a seemingly likeable young man.

As a fan, I don't really care how much money ownership spends, because it's not my money. Instead, if we want to compete with the big players on the field, we need to also compete with them off the field. And there's a number of ways the Sox can do that.

1. Draft well -- they seem to have improved at this in recent years.

2. Have a top-tier minor league development system. I'm no expert on the subject, but this seems to be improving as well, especially with pitchers.

3. Be willing to spend big money, even if the risk of eating some or a lot of it is there. I think this is the area that is driving me and others nuts, because ownership just does not seem willing to do this (Sale being the exception). Would it be fiscally prudent of ownership to sign Judge, Devers, and Xander to medium or long-term deals? I don't know and I don't really care. Again, because it's not my money, I think they can afford it, and I don't really care about the luxury tax.

4. More Diekman for starting catcher trades. Bloom seems pretty good at trolling the depths for pearls. Here's hoping he ends up with more hits than misses.

5. Send Verdugo and Downs to LAD for Mookie (contract and all). I like Verdugo, but he's no Mookie!
I'm pretty sure all fans feel the same way about the payroll and luxury tax monetary penalties. I'm with you. Where being over by $40 million costs the team is with the draft pick penalties.
Clubs that are $40 million or more above the threshold shall have their highest selection in the next Rule 4 Draft moved back 10 places unless the pick falls in the top six. In that case, the team will have its second-highest selection moved back 10 places instead.
 

ookami7m

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We need at least:

two OF
one 1b - Casas hopefully
one C
a SS if Bogaerts leaves
four starters
a billion relievers

So yeah, Judge is great, but for the amount of money it would take, we have a ton of other problems.
Judge, deGrom, Correa, Rodon, Contreras, Diaz, Turner, in that order.

I think Turner is seriously underlooked here (assuming X leaves, which is obviously not a forgone conclusion). Especially when you factor in the anti-shift rules next year and the new bases a guy with ++Speed like him could find himself more opportunities to provide value. I'd take him over Correa in a heartbeat.