Major League Baseball's single-season home run record holder is rooting for Aaron Judge to surpass his mark and leave the New York Yankees in free agency.
In a phone interview with Barry M. Bloom of Sportico, Barry Bonds said he would like Judge to "go for" his record of 73 homers and then see the San Francisco Giants land him via free agency in the offseason.
"I hope he signs here," Bonds said. "Can it happen? I don't know. It depends on what the Yankee payroll is. But we would love to have him, I'll tell you that."
Judge has hit 60 home runs with 13 games remaining in the regular season. He became the sixth player in MLB history to reach 60 homers with his solo shot in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 9-8 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bonds set his mark in 2001. The seven-time National League MVP didn't seem like he was too protective of the record in his interview with Bloom.
"The way [Judge] swings, he might as well hit one a day and get past me," Bonds said. "I don't care. Why not?"
Judge needs to hit two more homers to break Roger Maris' American League record of 61, which the Yankee set in 1961. While Judge's pursuit of history is on everyone's mind right now, his pending free agency is hovering over the Yankees.
There's no doubt Judge has increased his value and leverage with his performance. The four-time All-Star is the favorite to win the AL MVP Award and could command $300 million.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters before the start of the season that Judge had rejected the team's contract offer of $213.5 million over seven years. The deal would have been paired with the $17 million the team offered in arbitration for 2022.
Per Spotrac, the Giants have $103 million in allocated payroll next season. They could look to make a splash this offseason after a disappointing 2022.
After winning an MLB-high 107 games last season, the Giants are 73-77 and trail the San Diego Padres by 7.5 games for the final NL playoff spot.