Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he’s in contact with superstar outfielder Aaron Judge’s agent, Page Odle, and reiterated Judge remains their top priority. Responding to a comment by one person who’d spoken recently to the Yankees camp and suggested they didn’t seem overly confident or interested in re-signing Judge, Cashman said, “Who said that, I’d drug test him.”
Cashman added, however, that he has no feeling regarding their chances, and no knowledge about who else is targeting Judge. He also said he hasn’t sought or been given the advantage of having the final shot at Judge.
The one team known to be in the Judge market is San Francisco, and to that end Giants baseball president Farhan Zaidi suggested they have the wherewithal to make big moves.
“From a financial standpoint, there’s nobody that would be out of our capability,” he said.
The Giants were disappointed to go from an MLB-high 107 victories in 2021 to a .500 team last season, and they are in contact with multiple free agents. Though they have Brandon Crawford, whom Zaidi called “the best shortstop in franchise history,” he has been talking to the top shortstops on the market and has the idea one or more of them might be willing to move to second base.
Jacob deGrom has let the Rangers know he is interested in them (as well as presumably the Mets and perhaps others), but Carlos Rodon may be a better fit for Texas ultimately.
The Rangers likely are still a year or two away from contending, and Rodon at 30 may work better than deGrom at 34. Rodon will have a bigger market — since deGrom is expected to seek $40 million plus, which will limit his field. Texas is expected to pursue all the best starters, and will likely sign multiple starters even after acquiring Jake Odorizzi in trade. Rangers baseball president Chris Young suggested they are considering all viable starters, including the top guys.
The Rangers showed they are a serious player by spending $500 million on a double-play combination last winter.
The Angels are not trading two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, but they also will not attempt to lock him up. That will be left to the new owner. The Angels are believed to have very little player flexibility. They are seeking a shortstop, but not one of the top four (or four tops if you prefer). … Folks expect the Cubs to be serious players for a shortstop this winter. They are four great ones on the market. They could move Nico Hoerner to 2B. The Phillies will also look at the top of the shortstop market. They could move Bryson Stott to second.
The White Sox are planning to move Andrew Vaughn to his natural position of first base. Though they are leaving the door open to longtime star Jose Abreu, the likelihood seems to be that he will go to a new team.
Teams are calling on Lucas Giolito, but the White Sox feel no pressure to move him after his off 2022 season.