Entertainment News

Mets, Yankees cleared in Aaron Judge collusion inquiry

Aaron Judge, the biggest free agent on the market this winter, isn’t considered a victim of collusion between the Mets and Yankees — from MLB’s perspective — following an inquiry by the Commissioner’s Office into the matter. 

MLB has notified the MLBPA that the Mets and Yankees didn’t suppress the market for Judge, sources confirmed Tuesday, following an SNY report this month that indicated the Mets wouldn’t pursue the All-Star outfielder out of deference to their crosstown rival. Time.com first reported MLB’s decision. 

If the players’ association believes Judge has been wronged it can still file a grievance that would be heard by an arbitrator. A spokesman for the MLBPA declined comment. An MLB spokesman also declined comment. 

MLB reviewed communications between the teams in reaching its conclusion there wasn’t collusion. 

The SNY.com story that sparked the investigation cited the relationship between Mets owner Steve Cohen and his Yankees counterpart, Hal Steinbrenner, for the Mets’ lack of interest in Judge this offseason. 

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees reacts after flying out
MLB found that Aaron Judge’s free agent market was not depressed by statement made by Mets owner Steve Cohen.
Getty Images

Judge on Tuesday was expected to meet with the Giants, who are the only other known suitor besides the Yankees for his services. But the Dodgers have also been linked to Judge, who set an American League record with 62 homers last season. 

In dismissing the Mets as a suitor, the SNY report stated: “[The Mets] see Judge as a Yankee, uniquely tailored to be an icon in their uniform, stadium and branding efforts. Steve Cohen and Hal Steinbrenner enjoy a mutually respectful relationship, and do not expect to upend that with a high-profile bidding war.” 

It’s unclear if those feelings are reciprocal, as the Yankees have reportedly been in contact with Jacob deGrom, who is a free agent after opting out from his contract with the Mets. But the Mets could also view deGrom as replaceable — with names such as Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon as possibilities to replace him — whereas Judge is more unique, especially in this free-agent market. 

Judge, who last week was named American League MVP, turned down a $213.5 million offer from the Yankees in April. He has since received another offer from the club, according to Steinbrenner. 

Judge’s dalliance with the Giants is not unexpected given that he grew up in northern California and attended Fresno State. Upon arriving in the Bay Area on Monday, Judge coyly said: “Visiting some family and friends, that’s about it.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button