When Aaron Judge re-signed with the New York Yankees to a massive $360 million contract over the next nine seasons and was named the franchise’s 16th captain, the choice seemed obvious for local talent.
But when Judge was the jackpot on the free-agent market, a return to the West Coast — he grew up in Linden, Calif. — was a real possibility when he was spotted in San Francisco for a meeting with the Giants, the team he rooted for. for as a child.
The San Diego Padres were also in the running. Owner Peter Seidler and general manager AJ Preller have been aggressive recently in trying to get to the World Series again. And Judge was once at the top of his wish list.
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Judge traveled to San Diego to hear the Padres’ offer, and it was massive, according to Atlético,
Page Odle of PSI Sports Management, who represents Judge, said San Diego offered more than $400 million. The Athletic also had two sources saying it was «in the $415 million range over a period that would have been at least 12 years.»
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Judge got that astronomical offer after meeting with Seidler, Preller, assistant GM Josh Stein and manager Bob Melvin for a few hours at Petco Park.
Who knows if Judge seriously considered the offer? When you break down the math, $415 million over 12 seasons would give an average annual value of $34.5 million.
With the Yankees’ deal, Judge makes $40 million a season. Being part of the rare captains club in the Bronx sweetened the deal.
Ultimately, The Athletic said, the Padres were not surprised that Judge stayed with the Yankees, and they continued to walk away. Trea Turner also turned down the Padres’ $342 million offer to join the Philadelphia Phillies, who defeated the Padres to advance to last season’s World Series. Turner received a $300 million deal.
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Seidler and Preller ended up shutting down former Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts while extending Yu Darvish and Manny Machado to keep their core intact. Combine them with Juan Soto, whom the Padres signed before the MLB trade deadline last season, and Fernando Tatis Jr., the Padres are still poised to make a championship run.