Franchise legend’s career should convince Red Sox to target Aaron Judge

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 18: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees rounds the bases on his home run in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on September 18, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 18: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees rounds the bases on his home run in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on September 18, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Red Sox should go all in on signing Aaron Judge

Back in the spring, the New York Yankees offered slugger Aaron Judge a seven-year extension at $213.5 MM, and he declined.

The slugging behemoth is will be a free agent this fall and took the risk of playing for increased value. That risk has proven exceptionally fortuitous for Judge, and possibly, the Boston Red Sox.

For the 2022 season, it took both sides until late June to agree on his final arbitration salary, with Judge swinging for $21 MM, and the Yanks offering $17 MM. Both sides compromised to $19 MM, which will be a downright bargain for at least one year. And what a year Judge is putting together, leading MLB in nearly every offensive category.

Will the Red Sox make a move for Aaron Judge?

This is far too sweet an opportunity to neglect. The Sox went down this road decades ago, when they purchased the contract of a former MVP and Triple Crown winner, arguably one of the best right-hand sluggers in baseball history.

In 1936, the Sox bought “The Beast,” known as Jimmie Foxx, from the Philadelphia Athletics. The Great Depression was in full bloom, and baseball was just like the rest of the economy. The minor leagues were shrinking, salaries were cut dramatically, and many teams were operating on a day-to-day basis.

Connie Mack had created a powerhouse that rivaled Babe Ruth’s Yankees, but the price tag had become too steep. He sold Lefty Grove to the Red Sox in 1933 and then Foxx. Young multimillionaire Tom Yawkey – new Red Sox owner – was flusher with cash than any other team owner, and that was that. Buyer meet seller.

Foxx was 28 years old and coming off a typical season slashing .346/.461/.636 and leading the AL with 36 home runs. Foxx totaled six remarkable seasons with Boston, including a then-team record 50 home runs, an MVP Award, and a batting title. Then it was over for Double-X as chronic alcoholism and injuries ended his productive years at 33 years old.

What would it take for the Red Sox to sign Aaron Judge?

The most notable item is money! So much for my brilliance at observing the obvious. The issue then becomes just how much coin? Quickly into the $300 MM range for seven years. And the Red Sox can afford it.

The priority is pitching, but sometimes an opportunity is so tempting it cannot be ignored, especially for a team that has already seen Mookie Betts depart. This would also be the ultimate in-your-face to the Yankees.

Judge may not be a five-tool player, but he is close. Power, average, excellent defensive skills, deceptive speed, and no emotional baggage. A solid citizen both in and out of the locker room. A centerpiece for a lineup with Trevor Story, Rafael Devers (perhaps), Xander Bogaerts (another perhaps), and a possible left-handed power compliment in Triston Casas.

As that noted social philosopher, Dear Abby stated: “Are you better off with or without him?” That scintillating point can be answered with just a rudimentary glance at traditional and metric statistics speaking volumes of what destruction Judge can provide.

Baseball is entertaining, and a Judge at bat would generate excitement not seen since David Ortiz retired. The Red Sox could use a dose of excitement in their lineup with a notable downside being diminished beer sales as a Judge appearance countdown began.

Judge has spoken favorably of Boston and would probably speak favorably of a Siberian Gulag if it increased value since this is a business deal. The somewhat acrimonious discord over contractual negotiations with the Yankees could be an influencing factor.

The Temple Street night market of Hong Kong will pale compared to GM’s lining up to present offers of employment to Judge for his representatives to sort through. On an odds scale, I would say the Mets (AKA – Metropolitans) would delight in stripping Judge from their crosstown adversaries, and they would be my favorite. The other usual suspects will certainly surface when Judge hits the market.

The Red Sox have twisted along the border of the luxury tax and will eclipse it slightly for 2022. So what? Do we need to start a GoFundMe for the team? This is the management that spent $52 MM for the right to sign Daisuke Matsuzaka and another $31.5 MM penalty for signing Yoan Moncada. I don’t buy into the money scheme deflection for not signing players.

With the addition of Foxx, the Red Sox improved in the American League, but titles still became the untouchable brass ring. They did finish second several times during the Foxx tenure but could not form a serious threat to Yankee dominance.

With the addition of Judge, it is, like Foxx, no guarantee of instant World Series gratification, but it would be entertaining. Judge being a lynchpin for a lineup that could slug the snot out of the opposition, but then that pitching.

The Red Sox do not need Judge to fill the ballpark as they already manage to do that. The road would be a far different story, and where you get the coin is not of concern as just getting the coin.

The ultimate pipe dream would be to trade for Shohei Ohtani to join Judge, and what a duo that would be. It certainly would solve a portion of the pitching needs, the fan base would have their version of baseball meth, and the Red Sox would be on television more than the Kardashians. Back to Double X.

The ending was sad for Foxx as chronic pain impacted his field performance. Never one to pass up an adult beverage; it only intensified as a pain killer and a need. A spiral that millions have suffered. In the movie “A League of Their Own,” the character Jimmy Dugan is somewhat based on Foxx.

Is Boston media right that players whine too much?. dark. Next

Foxx remained linked to baseball, including managing the Fort Wayne Daisies, college coaching, and coaching in the Red Sox minor league system. He passed away at age 59. I would recommend “Jimmie Foxx” by W. Harrison Daniel as an excellent read for the one player that could have given a target higher than 714 to shoot for.