The Boston Red Sox have "been in touch" with the representatives for star slugger Aaron Judge, according to MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo.
However, Cotillo cautioned that Boston "is not one of the most aggressive teams showing interest in the reigning American League MVP."
The New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants are considered to be at the top of Judge's list. MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Monday that "other teams remain on the periphery" and that "no prominent mystery team has emerged."
That doesn't mean Boston is out of the race.
But Cotillo's report came off as a sort of preemptive damage control so the Red Sox could say, "Hey, we tried," with the biggest MLB free agent. That's because a deal of the magnitude Judge will command would run counter to how the franchise has operated in recent years.
The Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2020 instead of extending his contract, and the same thing might be happening with third baseman Rafael Devers. The New York Post's Jon Heyman reported Nov. 9 that "there is plenty of work to do to complete a deal" with either Devers, who is due to hit the open market in 2024, or free-agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
Fans would be thrilled to see Judge prowling the Fenway Park outfield for 81 games a year, but they'd also be right to question why Boston would play hardball with Betts, Bogaerts and Devers and then turn around and meet Judge's massive asking price.
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported last week that the Yankees offered Judge an eight-year contract worth around $300 million, and The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported it will take a nine-year deal to get his signature.
As things stand, Boston is projected to open 2023 with a starting outfield of Alex Verdugo, Enrique Hernández and Rob Refsnyder. Judge would clearly offer a massive upgrade.
Under a different front office, there might have been a chance for that to become reality, but it's certainly not how chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has operated since replacing the free-spending Dave Dombrowski in October 2019.