3 free agents the Cubs have no chance at landing: #2 – Aaron Judge
As important as deGrom is to the Mets, you can easily make the case Aaron Judge is even more valuable to the Yankees, especially as he sets his sights on Roger Maris’ American League record 61 home runs with just over a month to play.
After blasting his 50th long ball of the year on Monday, Judge raised his slash line to an otherworldly .294/.396/.661 – which works out to a 196 OPS+, meaning he’s almost twice as valuable as a league average offensive player. He leads the league in runs, home runs, RBI, walks, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+ and total bases.
Judge turned down New York’s overtures prior to the year, deciding to bet on himself rather than accept the Yankees’ offer, which was reportedly for seven years and $213.5 million. That bet looks like it’s about to pay off handsomely after the historic season he’s turned in here in 2022.
Thinking of him peppering the rooftops across the street from Wrigley will bring a smile to any Cubs fan’s face – but letting him walk would be an unmitigated disaster in the Bronx. And if the Cubs are paying top dollar to a guy this winter, it’s probably not going to be Judge.
Despite what he can do to a baseball on a nightly basis, you probably don’t feel as good about how a 6’8″, 280-pound slugger will age as you do a middle infielder – and the Cubs are going to take the path of less risk here, likely focusing on one of the top-shelf shortstops.