The 2022 regular season is just a few weeks away from being over for the Chicago Cubs. At the same time it is never too early to start thinking about future scenarios that could possibly happen around the north side of Chicago.
One big time free agent that could be on the move this upcoming offseason is outfielder Aaron Judge. It was made known throughout the last offseason prior to the 2022 season that Judge gave the New York Yankees a deadline of opening day to come to an agreement on an extension.
Opening day came around in early April with Judge and the Yankees not being able to come to an agreement on a long term extension. The talented outfielder in Judge made it clear from the start about the deadline meaning he will now be a free agent after the 2022 season. If Judge does return to the Yankees it will be for a lot more than what was offered back before the 2022 season began overall.
With Judge becoming a free agent at the end of the year does he make sense for the Cubs? Or better yet are the Cubs an appealing landing spot for Judge?
With the soon to be American League MVP for the 2022 season in Judge it is hard to see the Yankees just allowing him to watch their home grown star just leave and walk out the door to go play for another organization. Judge maybe does want to move on because he felt disrespected by the Yankees offers before the season and wants to start fresh somewhere else.
Cubs have plenty of money to persuade free agents like Judge
Right now, the Cubs payroll for the 2023 season is set at a base salary of 101.5 million dollars. The Cubs definitely have the money if they feel that Judge is the type of player they want to build around for the next decade or so on their end.
It was being reported by different media outlets that Judge turned down a seven year deal in the ballpark of around 213 million dollars. He would not come cheap, but it is also no secret that Tom Ricketts and the rest of the family do have the cash.
The Ricketts family made headlines when they made a strong effort to purchase the Premier League Chelsea FC before withdrawing late in the process a few months ago. A report came out earlier in the season that the value of the Cubs organization is at over 4 billion dollars. Yes, you read that correctly 4 billion dollars. The Cubs are only trailing the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers in the MLB.
The Cubs currently have their big free agent acquisition from last offseason in Seiya Suzuki in right field for the foreseeable future, but could move him over to center field over time. This could open up right field for Judge.
Big time prospect Brennen Davis had an injury riddled 2022 season but has come back recently from back surgery and should be arriving at the Friendly Confines in the near future as well. That would mean one less spot for Judge to roam in the outfield at Wrigley Field.
In years past running out of outfield spots would have been a problem, but not in 2022. With the universal designated hitter being featured in the National League it allows teams like the Cubs to go after guys who do not have to play in the field every day and can still be in the lineup.
Maybe the Cubs can sell Judge on their plan about having him be their thunder in the middle of the lineup for the next ten years. Also, talk to him about some of their upcoming big time prospects who should be arriving at the major league level soon.
Wrigley Field may not be as hitter friendly as Yankee Stadium is to players these days but Judge would love hitting at Wrigley for a minimum of 81 games every year. Fans would be going home with a lot of souvenirs from him in the bleachers and on Waveland Avenue.
Judge is a superb talent and having a banner year in 2022. Nobody is going to question the talent from Judge who has had three All Star appearances so far in his young career. One thing that teams may question is his durability and staying on field. Judge has missed 156 games dating back to 2017 prior to the 2022 campaign. He can point to this 2022 season though when talking to teams to show he can maintain healthy and stay on the field.
Injuries sometimes are out of the players control and just bad luck at times. The current Yankee star is going to be paid regardless whether it be the Yankees, Cubs, or somebody else.
Can the Cubs front office recruit Judge to the north side?
Signing a player like Judge would prove to the Cubs loyal fan base that they seriously feel with him, the talented pieces that are coming up in the farm system, and some other free agent signings that they can compete now and for many more years to come moving forward. All the reports are saying lately that the Cubs are ready to spend. Let’s see if it is actually true or not.
Will the Cubs be in on Judge’s services this upcoming offseason? Or maybe will they go after an infielder like Xavier Bogaerts, or Trea Turner? Personally in my opinion, an infielder, or another starting pitcher would seem to make more sense for the Cubs right now but who knows what the front office is wanting to do.
Time will tell if the Cubs pursue Judge, or if he even wants to be a member of the Cubs organization.
Imagining Judge in a Cubs uniform hitting home runs onto Waveland Avenue, or maybe even reaching Glenallen Hill territory and reaching a rooftop is fun to dream about even if it never actually ends up happening. We will have to wait until the offseason to see if it is a reality or not.
Judge over the past weekend seemed to love hitting against the Milwaukee Brewers up at American Family Field.
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