Giants viewed as big threat for Aaron Judge in free agency, Jon Heyman says

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Heyman: Giants viewed as big threat for Judge in free agency originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Could a reunion be in store for New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge and his hometown Giants?

New York Post baseball columnist Jon Heyman reported on Thursday, that San Francisco is viewed as the biggest threat to sign Judge if he tests the market as a free agent in the offseason.

"One Yankees person was heard to remark recently that just five other teams can reasonably afford Judge — the Mets, Dodgers, Giants, Cubs and Red Sox," Heyman writes. "Though they shouldn’t make assumptions — who saw the Rangers, Twins and Tigers spending huge? — the Yankees are probably right in viewing the Giants as the most logical threat.

"Judge’s good friend [Giancarlo] Stanton declined a chance to go to the Giants (unlike Judge, he grew up a Dodgers fan). The biggest negative for San Francisco in any pursuit is that beautiful ballpark, which may not be seen as such by hitters. Home runs are much harder to hit there. Overall since 2022, the Yankees are fourth in park factor for homers, the Giants 23rd."

Heyman previously had reported on May 20 that the Giants are seen as a potential landing spot for Judge, and in his tweet promoting Thursday's column, wrote that the Giants are viewed as the "biggest threat."

Judge, a free agent after the season, is having an MVP-caliber start to his 2022 season, with an MLB-leading 22 home runs to go along with a .311/.383/.675 slash line.

As Heyman mentions, the Giants -- under former GM Bobby Evans -- previously had pushed hard to acquire Stanton in an offseason trade with the Miami Marlins in 2018. The following offseason -- under current president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi -- the Giants came second in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.

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San Francisco has a recent history of pursuing superstar sluggers and certainly will have the ability to do so this offseason. According to Spotrac, the Giants have just $104 million committed to players for the 2023 season, with the league's luxury tax line set to be at $233 million.

Could the hometown connection help the Giants finally land a superstar slugger in the offseason, or will they fall short once again?

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