Slugger Aaron Judge reportedly made his free-agent decision on Wednesday, as multiple reports have him returning to the New York Yankees for $360 million over the next nine seasons.
There were other offers on the table, though, as the San Francisco Giants were also believed to have a $360 million deal on the table. They were the team Judge grew up rooting for in Linden, California.
But those two teams didn’t have the biggest offer, according to NJ Advance Media.
The San Diego Padres, who lost out on signing Trea Turner after he chose the Philadelphia Phillies on an 11-year, $300 million pact, reportedly offered a whopping $400 million deal to Judge, but he turned it down to remain with the only team he’s known in MLB.
Judge was in San Diego on Tuesday, and many expected it to be because of the MLB Winter Meetings taking place there, but the report revealed that Judge was actually meeting with the Padres instead of dealing with the Yankees and Giants at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
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But Judge had his mind made up quickly and the Yankees are happy that he chose the Bronx over his other potential destinations.
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner had to seal the deal from his vacation in Italy, per SNY. Steinbrenner wanted to know what would make Judge and his family happy to wear pinstripes for the rest of his career.
The report stated the ninth year added on, with an extra $40 million since their offer was $320 million over eight years at that point, was the call.
Steinbrenner said yes, and the deal was set.
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With the massive multiyear deal, which is now the highest AAV for a position player in MLB history, the SNY report says it’s “likely” the Yankees also name Judge their next captain since Derek Jeter.
After winning the AL MVP this past season with his record-setting performance, Judge was always going to cash in after leaving the Yankees’ Opening Day offer on the table and betting on himself.
New York is where he always wanted to be, it seems, even though San Diego gave their best shot.
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