ESPN.com rated the Texas Rangers as a reach destination for New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who is testing the free-agent market for the first time.
ESPN rated each MLB club as a potential destination using five categories — market, ballpark, payroll, geography and consistency.
The Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets were considered the Big Three for Judge’s services on a long-term contract. The Rangers ranked No. 19 overall.
ESPN wrote that the Rangers’ best assets were its ballpark, market and payroll, and noted that Judge’s big numbers in 2022 would have been a little bigger had he been playing 81 games at Globe Life Field:
The Rangers' new ballpark would have netted Judge 68 homers last season, according to Statcast. The Rangers seem intent on moving into baseball's top tier and seem willing to spend to get there. Nothing would proclaim a new era of relevance in Arlington than signing Judge. The Rangers have not won consistently, but this fit isn't completely far-fetched.
To join the Rangers, Judge would be leaving a team that went to the American League playoff last season for one that hasn’t had a winning season in six years. That might be the most difficult sell for a player that most expect to make more than $300 million on his next contract.
Judge broke the American League record for home runs with 62, hitting his last one of the season in Arlington. He finished the season batting .311/.425/.686/1.111 and driving in 131 RBI. His home runs and RBI led the American League.
The Rangers have been more focused on acquiring pitching this offseason. The Rangers are reportedly more likely to land San Francisco pitcher Carlos Rodón or Japanese free agent Kodai Senga through free agency. The report didn’t rule out the Rangers landing both.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard