SF Giants players begin wooing Aaron Judge as mega-offer looms

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees fields a double during the fifth inning in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 22, 2022.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees fields a double during the fifth inning in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 22, 2022.

Al Bello/Getty Images

The Aaron Judge sweepstakes may be blessedly brief, with the Giants reportedly ready to make an offer to Judge as early as this week.

Reporter Jon Morosi laid out a potential Judge timeline on MLB Network on Wednesday morning, one that has Judge making his free agent decision well before Christmas.

Judge had multiple meetings with the ballclub he grew up cheering for, including one with ownership, after his arrival in San Francisco on Monday and the meetings were “productive,” according to Morosi.

“When you consider the thoughtfulness of the Giants, and their long history and the number of icons they’ve had over time, it would not surprise me if the Giants really organized this to consider and go back to Aaron’s emotions as a longtime fan of the franchise and perhaps even including some of his favorite players as a kid, who might well have been able to meet with him yesterday,” Morosi told MLB Network. (Judge, who was raised in Linden, has said he idolized former Giants infielder Rich Aurilia growing up.)

Morosi added that he expects Judge to decide between the Yankees and Giants by December, perhaps even as early as the MLB winter meetings, which are Dec. 4 through 7 in San Diego.

The reality of how close the Giants are to potentially bringing in the biggest free agent since Barry Bonds is not lost on players, either. Joc Pederson, who just re-signed with the team, posted an edited photo of Judge in a Giants uniform in an attempt to recruit last season’s home run king with the captions “I got 99 problems…winning ain’t One,” followed by two trophy emojis, and “We’re ready when u are 99.” Judge was also tagged in the post, and the Drake and Future track “Big Rings” was featured.

Logan Webb shared Pederson’s post, as did Brandon Crawford, who added the double-eye emoji and said, “That uni looks nice.”

Judge is reportedly seeking a deal worth north of $320 million, which would buy a lot of sandwiches. But to sweeten up the situation in the Bay Area, Ike Shehadeh offered Judge free sandwiches for life at his eponymous sandwich chain, Ike's Love & Sandwiches, if he signs with the Giants or A's — and threatened a lifetime ban if he signs with the Dodgers.

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