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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Why Aaron Judge may save the Red Sox

Aaron+Judge+of+the+New+York+Yankees.
Bianca Oppedisano
Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff

The term “larger than life” is thrown around a lot these days, but it truly fits in the case of Aaron James Judge, the titanic New York Yankees slugger. At 6 feet 7 inches tall, 282 pounds (1), Judge is built more like a defensive end or power forward, but he decided to take his talents to the baseball diamond and has become the star attraction for the Bronx Bombers over the last half-decade or so.
In 2022, Judge arguably had the most outstanding season for a major league hitter in the modern era. As of this article, he has tied the immortal Babe Ruth’s 60 home run mark in a single season (2), and is just one dinger away from tying Roger Maris’ single-season American league record of 61 (3). By the time this column gets published, it’s a safe bet to assume he’ll have blown right past that mark.
One would assume, with all these accolades, Judge should be the cornerstone of the Yankees far into the future. Well, not so fast. Judge is a free agent at the end of the 2022 season (4), and before this year, he turned down a seven-year, $213 million extension from the Yankees (5), choosing to bet on himself instead. And boy, did that bet pay off. Judge is now likely to get a record contract of well over $300 million (6).
But that does raise the question: Where exactly will Judge play next year if not The Bronx? Many have speculated that New York City’s “other” team, the Mets, would use their free-spending owner, Steve Cohen’s, resources to bring in the 2022-23 free agent class’ big fish (7). The San Francisco Giants, who Judge grew up rooting for in Northern California, have also been mentioned as a potential destination (8). But another team might be lurking: The Boston Red Sox.
On the surface, the idea of the Red Sox making a serious effort to sign Judge seems unlikely, if not absurd. This is, after all, the team that has been reluctant to lock up beloved homegrown stars like Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers to long-term deals (9). Under current President of Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom, the Red Sox have only signed one player, Trevor Story, to a contract worth more than $8 million (10).
That said, Judge would make the Red Sox a lot better. According to the statistics website Baseball-reference.com, the Red Sox ranked 24th out of 30 teams in wins, above average in the outfield, offense and defense combined (11). Signing Judge would immediately give them a massive power threat right in the heart of their lineup. And it would also have the double-whammy effect of taking their division rival’s best player away from them.
After a brief two-game series at Fenway Park in September, Judge spoke highly of Red Sox fans, calling them “Some of the best (fans) in baseball. They’re going to boo you, they’re going to say some things that make you laugh, it’s all part of it. A lot of great history here, and this is one of the best places to play.[…] It’s always fun going out to try and put on a show for them.” (12)
Despite ownership’s reluctance to hand out big contracts in recent years, they are still a team with significant financial resources to sign elite players. Whether or not they will make a serious run at Judge remains to be seen.

  1. https://www.espn.com/mlb/player/_/id/33192/aaron-judge
  2. https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/aaron-judge-ties-babe-ruth-with-60th-home-run-sets-up-giancarlo-stanton-walk-off-slam-in-yankees-wild-ninth/live/
  3. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/roger-maris-breaks-home-run-record
  4. https://sportsnaut.com/aaron-judge-future-new-york-yankees/
  5. https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/33697851/new-york-yankees-aaron-judge-new-contract-ahead-self-imposed-first-pitch-deadline
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/sep/06/aaron-judge-new-york-yankees-home-run-record-roger-maris-mlb-baseball#:~:text=Now%20he’s%20on%20his%20way%20to%20a%20home%2Drun%20record,-Aaron%20Judge’s%20power&text=Aaron%20Judge%20started%202022,largest%20contracts%20in%20MLB%20history.
  7. https://www.si.com/mlb/mets/news/new-york-mlb-insider-believes-mets-steve-cohen-will-make-play-for-aaron-judge-yankees
  8. https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/giants/mlb-rumors-aaron-judge-could-be-giants-free-agency-radar-2023
  9. https://www.yahoo.com/video/red-sox-sign-rafael-devers-161500691.html
  10. https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/33555373/boston-red-sox-trevor-story-agree-six-year-140m-contract-per-reports#:~:text=Trevor%20Story%20and%20the%20Boston,Red%20Sox%20shortstop%20Xander%20Bogaerts.
  11. https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/majors/2022.shtml#all_team_output
  12. https://www.foxbangor.com/national-sports/aaron-judge-doesnt-rule-out-signing-with-red-sox-calls-their-fans-some-of-the-best-in-baseball/
About the Contributors
Jack Sherman, Sports Writer
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator