Unlike the NFL and NBA, Major League Baseball’s Free Agency period really is the equivalent of the NYC Marathon.
It’s never ending, with all sorts of twists and turns that are the norm for all of the rumors and rumblings that you will hear between now and whenever anybody decides to sign.
Locally, I can sense both the Yankee and Met fan is on edge regarding two players that have been basically the franchise from the minute they’ve put their respective uniform on.
The Yankee fan is very nervous about the prospect of Aaron Judge playing elsewhere next season.
It sounds crazy to say that. After all, we are talking about the Yankees.
We are also talking about Judge, hands down the team’s franchise player who hit a record setting 62 homers this season and is on the verge of winning his first MVP award.
It should be an absolute no brainer that Aaron Judge is back in pinstripes next season and for the rest of his career. However, that decision is now in the hands of Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner.
The Yankees have spent money during his run as owner, to say they haven’t would be unfair.
However, they have not gone above and beyond in ways that they once did. Will the Yankees be comfortable out bidding the San Francisco Giants or the Los Angeles Dodgers?
They have no choice.
Judge is the face of the franchise, the leader of the team and the defacto captain.
I’ve sensed a lot of justified anger from Yankee fans towards ownership and the front office. It was only heightened after another flop against the Astros in the postseason.
I cannot imagine the mood from the Yankee faithful if Aaron Judge is playing elsewhere next season.
For the Mets, the vibe around the sense of urgency to keep future Jacob deGrom isn’t as severe because of two reasons.
1. The age and durability of deGrom. 2. The fact that the Mets can go elsewhere and spend big money because of the pockets of owner Steve Cohen.
In years past, the Mets would be in a position where if they lost their homegrown guy in deGrom, you would wonder about what’s next. That is no longer the case, but deGrom’s stature and presence within the organization should not be minimized. deGrom is a two time Cy-Young winner, he is clearly one of the best pitchers of his generation and has put together a Hall Of Fame Career.
In a perfect world, the Mets and deGrom reunite for the next few seasons. I think ownership and the team wants that.
The question with deGrom is, does he? There have been rumblings regarding Jake’s desire to live and play in NY. Would he seriously take less money to go play elsewhere?
I don’t know if I buy that, but what I do know is that he will have plenty of suitors.
Unlike the Yankees situation with Judge where it’s clear, he wants to be a Yankee.
The question regarding deGrom’s mysterious free agency is wondering whether he wants to be a Met.
For both teams, it’s impossible to figure out what the offseason road will be until the future of each franchise cornerstone is solidified. One way or another.
It’s very rare to see players in professional sports these days go start to finish in the same uniform throughout a career. Will that be the narrative for Aaron Judge and Jacob deGrom?
Or will we be discussing how weird it is seeing them in a different uniform at some point next year.