The Angels had trade talks with the Yankees about Aaron Judge this winter, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports, but it sounds as if the discussions were little more than due diligence. “It was the lightest of flirtations,” as Olney put it, “and perhaps a door-opener for other names.” No details about the specific nature of the talks were mentioned, but it’s safe to assume the Angels explored some bigger outfield names like Judge before eventually landing Dexter Fowler in a salary dump of a trade from the Cardinals.
A Judge trade would have been arguably the offseason’s biggest blockbuster, and it’s fun to speculate about what exactly Los Angeles would have had to give up to land the slugger. (Cue the inevitable “Judge for Trout and Ohtani sounds about fair” jokes in the comments section.) The Angels and Yankees were somewhat imperfect trade partners since both shared a need for starting pitching, which could be one of the reasons negotiations didn’t get very far.
Since getting under the luxury-tax threshold seemed to be the Yankees’ primary offseason goal, finances would likely have played some factor in a hypothetical trade, but obviously the Yankees wouldn’t have just given Judge away to clear his relatively modest $10.175M salary. Olney also observed that discussion about Judge’s future in the Bronx will soon become more prominent, as Judge is under team control only through the 2022 season.
More from the AL West…
- In figures released on Friday, the Athletics’ plans for their new ballpark at the Howard Terminal site in downtown Oakland will cost $1 billion for the stadium itself and roughly $12 billion for development projects in the surrounding area. (Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times has the details.) The bulk of the costs would be covered by the team and private developers, but the A’s asked the city to provide $855M for infrastructure improvements. That money would come from taxes related to the project, but a statement from Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf said that while “the city is willing to bring to bear its resources to help make this vision a reality…today’s proposal from the A’s appears to request public investment at the high end for projects of this type nationwide.” The Athletics have requested that Oakland’s city council vote on the project before the end of the summer.
- Mariners star prospect Jarred Kelenic will make his MLB debut at some point this season, but while GM Jerry Dipoto told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand that Kelenic “is going to get here soon…I don’t expect that’s going to be in a matter of days.” Enough time has passed in the season that the Mariners have gained an extra year of control over Kelenic’s services, a tactic mentioned as part of the infamous comments made by former team president/CEO Kevin Mather during a rotary club speech in February. As expected, Dipoto made no mention of service-time considerations, noting that the M’s wanted to see Kelenic get more experience facing left-handed pitching. The GM also said that “when you break camp with a team, committing to those players for the first 30 or 40 games, it would be unfair to judge what they do without giving them that sample to work with.” Looking at Seattle’s current outfield options, Mitch Haniger is off to a red-hot start, Taylor Trammell hasn’t hit but has looked strong defensively, and Kyle Lewis just returned from the injured list. Ty France is also hitting well and has taken most of the DH at-bats, but France could also see more time at first or second base when the time comes for Kelenic’s promotion.