The Padres evidently were hell-bent on making a splash this Major League Baseball offseason, with new details of their reported offer to New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge being the latest piece of evidence that San Diego is all-in on winning the World Series in 2023.
Judge re-signed with the Yankees on a nine-year, $360 million contract, but not before testing MLB free agency, where the Padres and San Francisco Giants each made a strong push for the reigning American League MVP.
The Giants, as his hometown club growing up, were long rumored be interested in Judge. The Padres, on the other hand, were a late participant in the sweepstakes, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who on Thursday described San Diego’s attempt to lure Judge out west.
“(The Padres) made a significant offer that kind of blew everybody else out of the water,” Aaron Judge told Rosenthal.
One of Judge’s agents, Page Odle of PSI Management, revealed to Rosenthal that San Diego offered “more than $400 million.” And two other sources briefed on the matter told the MLB insider the Padres offered “in the range of $415 million,” over at least a 12-year term.
That obviously is huge money — New York at the time reportedly was offering $320 million over eight years — and the Padres pulled out all the stops, flying Judge’s agents, family and dog from Tampa Bay to San Diego for a private meeting at Petco Park. But the four-time All-Star ultimately decided to remain in pinstripes after talking with Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner.
“It came down to what I really wanted to do,” Judge told Rosenthal. “We made the right decision.”
The Padres, who previously attempted to sign Trea Turner before the star shortstop landed with the Philadelphia Phillies on an 11-year, $300 million contract, changed course and inked Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year, $280 million deal. San Diego also signed Manny Machado and Yu Darvish to lucrative contract extensions, continuing its aggressive approach to roster building.