There is no question that Aaron Judge is going to change the New York Yankees’ offseason.
Bringing him back keeps that game changing slugger in the midst of their lineup. He had carried the Yankees down the stretch at times last season, posting a .311/.426/.686 batting line with an American League record 62 homers. Judge would make a tremendous difference in the Yankees hopes.
Aaron Judge contract will make difference to New York Yankees
But Judge will also change the trajectory of the Yankees’ offseason. As noted by Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Yankees are not going to add Judge and another top of the market hitter. Despite the need for another outfielder, and possibly an addition in the infield, the Yankees financial restraints will keep them from pursuing the likes of Brandon Nimmo or one of the top shortstops available if Judge returns.
It would be a different story should he leave. At that point, the Yankees would presumably look to Nimmo or possibly the higher end of the shortstop market, with Carlos Correa suddenly on their radar. But it all depends on what happens with Judge.
Interestingly, that would only impact the plans for the lineup. Heyman notes that the Yankees are still planning to go after pitching help and whatever happens with Judge will not impact those plans. As they have run the gamut from Jacob deGrom to Jameson Taillon in terms of those conversations, it is not a surprise that the Yankees may have a separate dollar amount set aside for rotation upgrades.
However, the lineup has to be the biggest concern. The Yankees simply did not get enough production from virtually everyone else in the lineup. Even if they keep Judge, it is fair to wonder if that will be enough since essentially the same lineup would be returning for 2023.
Aaron Judge is going to change the direction of the New York Yankees offseason. Their targets are going to change if he ends up staying around.