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Randy Miller believes Aaron Judge will sign with SF, another NY slugger may join him



© Thomas Shea | 2022 Oct 20

Aaron Judge to the Giants is starting to sound like more than just your typical MLB rumor.

In addition to the fairly consistent reports linking the two parties from news breakers around the league, Vegas now gives San Francisco 2-to-1 odds to land the soon-to-be MVP, making them the favorites.

The latest Judge-to-SF report came from NJ Advance Media Yankees beat writer Randy Miller, who wrote this week that the Giants will be willing to spend whatever it takes to sign Judge this offseason.

But that’s just the half of it.

Miller joined Papa & Lund on Wednesday to discuss his report, and said in very strong terms that he believes the Giants will indeed sign Judge and possibly another Yankees slugger Judge happens to be close with.

Miller says that a combination of money, Judge’s desire to go back home and a fractured relationship with the Yankees have all signs pointing toward the Bay Area.

“[The Giants] are definitely going after him,” Miller began on KNBR. “They are going to get a second and maybe a third guy to entice him.

“I think there’s some rifts in the [Yankees] organization. I think the Giants will overbid for him, I don’t think the Yankees will. Aaron Judge was booed in two of the home playoff games this year. That didn’t sit well with his family. Judge was not happy that Joey Gallo, Aaron Hicks were crushed by fans this year.

“He’s very, very loyal, it’s going to be tough to leave his friends in the organization. That said, he’s very loyal to his mother, his wife, they still live in Linden [,CA]. He grew up a Giants fan, he was a huge Rich Aurilia fan. He lived through the Bonds days. I think he’s ready to come home, I think he will come home. I think the Giants will give him the best offer. I think the Giants will sign another guy — maybe Trea Turner — and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants also bring Anthony Rizzo with him.”

The notion of San Francisco — who hasn’t signed a big name position player in the Farhan Zaidi era — landing Judge, Turner and Rizzo is enough to make Giants fans’ eyes roll back in their head. That’s three All-Star caliber position players to a team that might not currently have any.

Rizzo can choose to opt out of the $16 million that the Yankees owe him next year, and hit the open market with Judge. Miller believes if he does so, the Giants would be willing to throw a deal worth around two-years and $17 million per year at him.

“If [the Giants] get [Rizzo], that will convince Judge he can win,” Miller said. “To me the biggest holdup here, can the Giants convince Judge they’re in it to win it every year?

“They are spoiled in New York. They haven’t won one, that hurts him, but they’ve made the playoffs every year since his rookie year. They’re further now away from the Astros than they’ve ever been.”

Miller then dug a little deeper on Judge’s issues with the Yankees organization. Sure, the boos of him and his teammates by Yankees fans hurt, but it was NY’s handling of his extension offer that turned things sour according to Miller.

“In spring training I was 90 percent sure he was going to re-sign with the Yankees,” Miller said. “This is a guy who loves wearing the pinstripes. It means a lot to him, he knows their history. When the Yankees did not sign him in spring training, that changed everything.

“He stopped saying ‘I want to be a Yankee for life’. He said that many, many times. Part of the problem is the Yankees announced the contract figure. Announced $213.5 million, the extension. By announcing it, Judge took that as a sign that the Yankees were saying ‘look, we made him this fair offer, he wants more than he’s worth, look what we did here.’ And he feels that that made him look bad, and he has not forgiven the Yankees for that, from what I understand.

“I don’t think the Yankees realized how dire the situation is. Maybe they do now.”

So, when could this get done? Miller says that you can expect Judge to take a while to decide where he wants to go, in part because his agent will try to get a bidding war going. San Francisco has been in those before, and but Miller thinks this one will go differently.

“I think this could be a dog and pony show where Judge goes to the Giants, the Dodgers, the Yankees and others,” Miller concluded. “I think the Dodgers will be a bidder, I don’t think they’ll be a serious contender. The Dodgers will come in for a very high salary for a short term, and that’s how they lost Bryce Harper and that’s how the Giants lost Bryce Harper.”

Reports are that the Giants actually offered a 12-year deal for Harper like the Phillies did, but that Harper chose Philadelphia because he believed the team was better. Like then, the Giants don’t seem all that good right now, but SF will hope they can convince Judge that won’t be the case with him in the fold.

Catch Papa & Lund weekdays from 2 – 6 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.