Minnesota Named as Possible Landing Spot for Aaron Judge

Photo: Wendell Cruz – USA TODAY Sports

It’s Wednesday morning in late June and the 2022 Major League Baseball season is in full swing. Teams are more than 1/3 through their schedules, the All-Star ballots are being turned in and trade deadline chatter is heating up. So when landing on the internet today, one might reasonably expect to find some Minnesota Twins rumors floating about.

But there is one MLB story ($$$) on ESPN that I would not have believed was posted, if not for reading it with my own two eyes. Big wig baseball insider, Buster Olney, writing about New York Yankees superstar, Aaron Judge, landing with the Minnesota Twins.

Obviously, the best team in the league is not moving Judge, its best player, before the upcoming trade deadline. But the New York Yankees are in negotiations on a new contract with the 30-year-old slugger. And if the two sides do not come to terms, he’ll become a free agent this upcoming offseason. Should that happen, the Twins would be one of eight possible landing spots, according to Olney.

Minnesota Twins

Like the Giants, they have some payroll flexibility moving forward, as they demonstrated by landing¬†Carlos Correa¬†— and assuming Correa won’t stay the full term of the three-year deal he signed with Minnesota, those dollars could be devoted to Judge. But it seems highly unlikely Judge would land anywhere other than with a big-market team.

The other seven teams listed are all big market behemoths. The Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Angels, and Giants are among them. Let’s be real. On this list, the Twins stick out like an underdeveloped thumb on an adult hand full of large, well manicured, regularly-worked fingers.

What is happening?

Buster Olney, and whoever is feeding him this information (probably Judge’s agent), sees the Minnesota Twins as a possible fallback option for a superstar who doesn’t end up with the long-term contract they desire in free agency. Much like what’s playing out with Carlos Correa in the present. Will Falvine and the Pohlads sign Aaron Judge, Carlos Correa or any other premier player to an 8 to 10-Year contract worth $300+ million?

Probably not, but they’ve clearly proven to insiders and player agents around the league that they’re willing to spend big money, as long as the terms are short and/or flexible. Aaron Judge is an interesting case, however, because he’s (barely) beyond the age of 30.

On the surface, that should make the Twins a less-likely destination. Why would he want to sign a 1 or 2 year deal that would only make him less valuable when he hits free agency again? But, Buster Olney carries more clout than any other insider in baseball. And Judge would look damn good in a lighter shade of navy blue…

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan