ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith ‘afraid’ of Yankees ‘Aaron Judge’ to join Mets, hints at huge contract offer

In this scenario, Aaron Judge stays in New York in 2023 but Yankees fans are still not happy.

How could that happen? Well, there is a team in Flushing that can bid for the hitter.

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This is what Stephen A. Smith may happen. That’s what he said take first:

“I am so worried that Aaron Judge will end up in New York dead… I think so [Steve Cohen] He plans to break the bank for Aaron Judge. I think Aaron Judge knows that… I think the judge would get a minimum of $350 million deal from Cohen. I’m afraid my Yankee work will end up playing at Citifield as a New York park.”

The judge rejected a seven-year, $213.5 million contract from the Yankees prior to opening day and he will become a free agent after the season.

Despite Smith’s concerns and Cohen’s deep pockets, the Mets owner has indicated he won’t raise 2023 salaries much. The Mets’ salary is currently $291.8 million, according to Spotrac. Cohen told Joel Sherman and John Heyman of the New York Post: “You should be able to build a very good team with $300 million. If you can’t do that, that’s a problem.”

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Judge is currently on a one-year, $19 million contract with the Yankees, and his next contract is likely to fetch him around $40 million annually. If Cohen doesn’t think it’s worth increasing his pay by more than a few million, then he’s not setting his sights on the judge.

ESPN’s Buster Olney suggests that Judge, who is a Bay Area native, could sign with the San Francisco Giants.

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“There will be an opportunity this winter for the owner to throw a large number in there,” Olney said. “And we don’t know if the Yankees are going to chase that. If another team like the Giants throws $350 million at him, will the Yankees wave the white flag? … We don’t know what Aaron Judge really wants. When he turned down the Yankees’ offer in the spring, he didn’t respond.” Never. Maybe he wants to play for the San Francisco Giants? Maybe he wants to get $350 million, which is the biggest contract ever.”

More MLB:

Insiders say Aaron Judge Yankees have the greatest season by a hitter in MLB history

David Cone: Aaron Judge wants the Yankees to take advantage of his alternative offers for a long-term contract

Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo settles Roger Maris-Barry Bonds debate at home as Yankees gain strength Aaron Judge

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Bridget Highland can be reached in bhyland@njadvancemedia.com.

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