The Aaron Judge sweepstakes are heating up, and the Giants are stoking the flames.
Judge, a Linden, California native, reportedly arrived in San Francisco and will meet with the Giants this week.
MLB Network Insider first posted a video of Judge, who appeared to be in a San Francisco hotel; his colleague Mark Feinsand reported that Judge and the Giants are scheduled to meet Tuesday, Nov. 22.
It makes sense that Judge would want to spend Thanksgiving with his family. But his trip home will also include some business.
“Just visiting some family and friends, that’s about it, that’s about it,” the 2022 American League MVP said with a wink in the video tweeted by MLB Network.
Judge, 29, broke the single-season AL record with 62 home runs in 2022. He led all of baseball in homers, OPS, runs, RBI, on-base percentage and slugging.
Within the industry, the Giants are among the most likely suitors for Judge — along with the New York Yankees, whom Judge has spent all seven of his MLB years with.
Judge turned down the Yankees’ seven-year, $213.5 million extension offer before his historic 2022 campaign. Because of how well he performed in his walk year, Judge will likely earn much more than that.
The Giants have roughly $109 million committed to the 2023 payroll after Joc Pederson accepted the one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer. The luxury tax threshold is set at $233 million. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has publicly indicated that ownership would authorize raising the payroll significantly if the front office believes that would help build a better roster.
After winning a franchise-record 107 games in 2021, San Francisco finished 81-81 last year.