Major League Baseball’s free agent market might not be open just yet, but the betting market is already taking form as it pertains to Aaron Judge, the top player available.
The offseason isn’t yet a week old, and we’re still two days from MLB free agency officially beginning. Yet, there’s plenty of speculation and intrigue about where Judge will land after one of the greatest offensive seasons in baseball history.
DraftKings Sportsbook recently updated its market for Judge with a player futures bet described as “Team Aaron Judge takes next regular-season plate appearance for,” and there’s a clear favorite.
The Yankees currently lead the pack as odds-on -165 favorites, followed by a pair of National League West rivals in the Dodgers and Giants. There’s then a sizable dropoff before the Red Sox make an appearance at fourth-best odds.
New York Yankees -165
San Francisco Giants +300
Los Angeles Dodgers +450
Boston Red Sox +1600
Chicago Cubs +2200
St. Louis Cardinals +2800
DraftKings only includes 26 teams on its list. Conspicuously absent from the selection, though, are the New York Mets. Two weeks ago, PointsBet had the Mets at +275 just behind the Giants and right ahead of the Dodgers in their next-team odds, though their offering didn’t include the Yankees.
As far as the Yankees action goes, it does make sense. Judge re-signing with the Bronx Bombers might not feel inevitable, but it does seem to be the best fit for both sides. Recent reporting reinforces that notion, too.
“The Yankees’ hopes have risen and fallen in recent weeks, but one club executive said he felt more ‘confident’ now than he had previously,” the New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported Monday night.
Heyman also relayed a belief within the game that it’s more likely the Yankees re-sign Judge than it is the Mets are able to convince Jacob deGrom to return. And as far as one of the New York teams poaching their in-city rival’s biggest free agent, that’s unlikely, according to Heyman. That has “no noticeable legs,” he wrote.
As for the Red Sox, plucking away the hated Yankees’ best player would undoubtedly be a coup and a juicy story, but it doesn’t feel overly likely at this point.