Why Red Sox may be motivated to pursue Aaron Judge in free agency


The Boston Red Sox may need to do something drastic to get out of the American League East basement in 2023.

Signing Aaron Judge would certainly qualify.

The New York Yankees slugger is the clear front-runner to win AL MVP, with 48 home runs and 105 RBIs through 120 games. He's on pace to surpass Roger Maris' AL record of 61 homers in a single season.

But Judge is also set to become a free agent this offseason after he and the Yankees couldn't agree to a contract extension. The market for Judge is sure to be robust, and our John Tomase believes the Red Sox could be in the mix for the superstar outfielder -- even if it would be a very uncharacteristic signing for chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.

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"I think the allure of signing a star away from the Yankees to prove to people, 'Look, we went out and took their best player away' -- sort of ignoring the fact that he's 30 and really injury-prone and not the kind of guy that I think Bloom would be betting on -- I think the Aaron Judge watch is going to be absolutely fascinating this winter," Tomase said.

"I think there legitimately could be interest from the Red Sox and it will be exactly for that reason: to reverse the perception of what this team is under Chaim Bloom."

The current perception of Bloom is that he's unwilling to spend big money to make the Red Sox contenders. Since taking over in December 2019, he's only splurged on one free agent -- Trevor Story for six years and $140 million -- while otherwise making smaller deals with a focus on value and improving the team's long-term future.

That strategy may pay off in the long run, but current fans aren't exactly thrilled about the team being last in the AL East behind teams like the Baltimore Orioles, who have about one-fifth of Boston's payroll.

Needless to say, Bloom and the Red Sox could use a PR win, especially if the team loses Xander Bogaerts in free agency this offseason. So, it's possible they throw their name in the ring for Judge, one of the most prolific sluggers in baseball.

Still, it's seems very unlikely the Red Sox actually sign Judge, who will demand a massive contract despite turning 31 next April and having a lengthy injury history. But they could make the offseason a lot more interesting if they at least join the sweepstakes.

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