New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants

MLB rumors: Aaron Judge turned down over $400 million to stay with Yankees

Aaron Judge received generational wealth this season when he re-signed with the Yankees, but just how close was he to leaving?

We all know the story by now — a late-night phone call from Hal Steinbrenner to up the ante helped keep Aaron Judge in pinstripes. Judge is a rare breed, and so is Steinbrenner to some extent. Judge considers him a friend and a colleague. It’s that relationship which made him feel comfortable sharing his other offers, and asking what, if anything, Hal could do to meet him halfway.

In an exclusive with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Judge and his agency revealed what the negotiating process was like with the Yankees, as well as the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants.

Both the Padres and Giants had solid offers on the table. However, it was San Diego and A.J. Preller that, at the end of the day, upped their commitment to over $400 million (the story suggested it may have been in the $415 million range).

“I thought the meeting went well,” Preller said after the fact. “But that evening, he flew out.”

Why did Aaron Judge stay with the Yankees?

As good as the Giants and Padres felt about their offers to Judge, leaving New York was a major risk on his end. The Yankees routinely compete for the postseason and have a yearly goal to reach and win the World Series. Not many organizations can say that.

The Yankees were willing to build around Judge. They made him their captain — the first since Derek Jeter, and a rare achievement altogether in pinstripe lore. The New York Yankees brand is one of the most powerful in American sports.

As tempting as it was to go home and play for the Giants, or set a new market standard with the Padres, familiarity won out. Judge has a smaller agency represent him, despite offers from some of the biggest in sports, such as Scott Boras. PSI sports management was with Judge from the beginning, and now stand tall with him as one of the richest men in baseball.

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