MLB Exec Casts Doubt on Aaron Judge Leaving Yankees to Sign Contract with Giants

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 1, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 23: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees pops out during the fourth inning in game four of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium on October 23, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

At least one Major League Baseball executive can't imagine Aaron Judge leaving the opportunity to hit home runs in New York for the chance to play in San Francisco.

"He's going to leave the greatest market to go across the country to a team where it's hard to hit homers? Come on," the executive said, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Statcast shows Yankee Stadium was the eighth-most favorable ballpark in the league for park effects leading to more home runs in 2022. By comparison, the Giants' Oracle Park was a mere 27th and is better known for knocking down potential homers.

Considering Judge just set the American League record with 62 long balls while winning the MVP and also led the league with 52 home runs as the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year, it is a valid point.

Power is the defining feature of his game, and joining the Giants could hamper that as he plays into his 30s.

Yet that is far from the only factor.

As Heyman noted, San Francisco is about two hours from Judge's parents hometown of Linden, California. The free agent also grew up cheering for the Giants and could even still be upset about Yankees fans booing him during the playoffs.

Heyman reported it is essentially coming down to the Giants and Yankees since the Los Angeles Dodgers are more focused on pitching and shortstop, but that likely won't stop Judge from making $300 million or more on his next deal.

The question now is whether he will continue his Yankee legacy and the chase for his first championship or join the National League for the first time and play closer to home for his childhood favorite team.

If he is worried about how the respective ballparks will impact his power, the choice may be clear.