The New York Yankees took care of some business on Monday at the Winter Meetings, re-signing GM Brian Cashman to a four-year contract extension, but the status of outfielder Aaron Judge has the Bronx Bombers in a state of limbo. The AL single-season homerun record holder was in Tampa Bay on Monday for the Buccaneers – New Orleans Saints game, but reports have indicated that Judge will travel to Southern California and will make a decision on a new deal by Wednesday.
The San Francisco Giants are expected to be the Yankees main competitor for Judge, but the only offer reportedly on the table is the eight-year, $300 million deal made by New York last week. New York is being cautious to not drive up the price against themselves and is waiting for Judge to respond.
“We’re not driving this bus, obviously Mr. Judge is,” Cashman said. “He put himself in a great position clearly with a historic season and he’s had an amazing career thus far and one that if he continues will take them all the way to Cooperstown, but we want every step along the way between now and hopefully that final destination to be here in the Bronx for us.”
The club reportedly has interest in trading for Pittsburgh outfielder Bryan Reynolds, trying to re-sign outfielder Andrew Benintendi or possibly sign starter Carlos Rodon, but everything is on hold until Judge makes his decision.
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The Texas Rangers made the biggest splash thus far, signing two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom to a five-year, $185 million deal on Friday. Big free agent signings have not translated into victories for Texas, who added infielders Corey Seager and Marcus Semien last offseason, and a five-year contract for an injury-plagued 35-year-old who has averaged 13 starts the last three years has to be considered risky.
The Houston Astros added first baseman Jose Abreu on a three-year, $60 million deal last week, but lost the ace of their staff, as Cy Young winner Justin Verlander signed a two-year deal with the New York Mets.
After Judge, the area generating the most interest is the shortstop market. In the wake of the Philadelphia Phillies signing Trea Turner to an 11-year, $300 million contract, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks are considered the most serious suitor for Xander Bogaerts, while the Chicago Cubs met with former Astro Carlos Correa, who chose to opt-out of deals with Boston and Minnesota.