Aaron Judge sends another mixed message about free agency after Red Sox comments
If Aaron Judge is trying to set the record straight about where he wants to play next season, he’s not doing a very good job.
Or maybe, the obfuscation is intentional.
On Monday, ahead of the New York Yankees‘ series in Toronto, Judge strolled into Rogers Centre rocking a sweatshirt with a very pointed, albeit mixed message.
“New York or Nowhere”
Did Aaron Judge hint at free agency destination with latest outfit?
While the article of clothing could be a message to Yankees fans that he doesn’t want to play anywhere else, there is, of course, a second New York team. Mets owner Steve Cohen’s head must be absolutely spinning right now with visions of the towering Judge swapping pinstripes for orange and blue and obliterating baseballs into the Citi Field parking lot.
To say the 30-year-old Yankees slugger is having a historic season feels like an understatement. He’s one home run away from tying Roger Maris for the all-time American League single-season record, he could be only the second Triple Crown hitter since 1967, and it’s down to him or Shohei Ohtani for AL MVP. The baseball world knows all about players ramping things up during a contract season, but what Judge has done is truly next-level.
Or maybe, “Nowhere” is a trendy new nickname for Boston, as this intentional outfit choice comes on the heels of Judge refusing to explicitly say that he wouldn’t be interested in signing with the Boston Red Sox. The soundbite immediately went viral on social media, for obvious reasons. Judge jumping ship to the other side of baseball’s greatest rivalry? More than one head would explode. Johnny Damon and Jacoby Ellsbury’s defections would be nothing compared to such inter-rivalry betrayal.
Judge absolutely could’ve been showing appreciation for the city and fans after a triumphant four-game sweep of the Sox at Yankee Stadium this weekend, but he also had to know that wearing a piece of clothing with such a message would cause a stir, just as refusing to rule out the Sox did. Maybe part of his free-agency strategy is creating chaos to get teams riled up so that they bid higher to sign him long-term. It’s certainly bold, I’ll give him that. Imagine the uproar and speculation if Xander Bogaerts or Rafael Devers did something like this.