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Padres Made Late Run at Aaron Judge Before MVP Picked Yankees

The Yankees and Giants were seen as Judge’s most likely suitors throughout free agency, but the Padres turned their attention to the outfielder after missing out on Trea Turner.

SAN DIEGO — From the moment Aaron Judge hit free agency, the Yankees and Giants were considered the favorites to sign the reigning MVP. But a second National League West team ended up being a finalist for the slugger before he chose to re-sign with New York on a nine-year, $360 million deal Wednesday morning.

No, not the Dodgers. Instead, multiple reports said that the Padres made a serious offer to Judge before he spurned San Diego and San Francisco for a return to The Big Apple.’s Brendan Kuty reported a $400 million offer from the Padres. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal added that the team met with Judge at Petco Park on Tuesday night, though Rosenthal doesn’t believe the Padres had a chance to make a formal bid.

The Padres’ interest in Judge followed rejection from Trea Turner. San Diego reportedly offered the star shortstop an 11-year, $342 million deal, but he agreed to an 11-year, $300 million pact with the Phillies.

In the end, it appears Judge also chose the East Coast over more money in San Diego. However, his new deal with the Yankees, which is not finalized and pending a physical, would give him the highest average annual value for a position player in baseball history. Judge’s $40 million AAV easily surpasses that of Angels outfielder Mike Trout, whose AAV is $35.5 million.

Judge declined a seven-year, $213.5 million extension offer from the Yankees just before Opening Day this year. The bet worked out in his favor: he hit a record-breaking 62 home runs, won an MVP Award, and secured an extra two years and $146.5 million.

The Yankees, meanwhile, can go about the rest of their offseason knowing that a franchise player and fan favorite is staying put (once the ink dries). With Judge in the Bronx for the foreseeable future, many – including teammates – expect him to become New York’s next captain.


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