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MLB Player Futures: Bet, Fade or Pass on Aaron Judge Returning to the New York Yankees?

The New York Yankees were unable to agree to a contract extension with Aaron Judge before he turned in a historic 2022 season. Will the slugger now take his talents elsewhere? The MLB offseason is always filled with drama, but this one could be something else. There are several superstars on the market, but only one of them is important enough for some of the biggest sportsbooks on the planet to be offering odds on which jersey they'll wear next.

Judge is currently listed at -165 to return to the Yankees at DraftKings Sportsbook, and there's no question that the outfielder wanted to be in the Bronx before last season. But with the Yankees not paying up for his services and the team flaming out in the playoffs, could we see Judge playing for another team in 2023? Well, keep reading to find out whether we're betting, fading or passing on his return to the Bronx Bombers. 

 

Aaron Judge Next Team Betting 

Heading into last year, Judge decided to bet on himself after having not been impressed with what New York was offering him. Judge then went on to bat .311 with 62 homers and 131 RBIs, breaking Roger Maris' American League record of 61 homers in a season in the process. He also nearly hit for the Triple Crown, making it one of the best single seasons we've seen in quite some time. 

Judge is now going to be paid a fortune, but will he be cashing checks from the Yankees? That's obviously the most likely scenario of all of them, but we actually think that the betting value lies in fading his return to the Bronx. The San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets all look like realistic options for the 30-year-old, with the Giants and Mets looking like the best betting values of the bunch. 

While it might be difficult for Judge to ever reach 62 homers — or even 50 — in San Francisco's ballpark, he did grow up as a fan of the Giants. And if he were to choose to leave the Yankees, this would be the scenario in which he wouldn't look like as much of a villain to the aggressive fans in New York. There's just something wholesome about going to play for the team you cheered for as a kid. And the Giants are also a National League team that plays most of its games late at night, meaning the Yankees wouldn't hear from him all that much. 

 

Judge could, however, opt to go the chaotic route by signing with the Mets. Steve Cohen has proven that he is willing to open up his wallet and pay the big bucks to bring in top-tier talent. And this would be the ultimate slap in the face to the Yankees, which might be the route Judge will want to go — and the route that will please Joker-like baseball fans that just "want to watch the world burn." 

Despite the magical 2022 season he turned in, Judge was still booed by his fans when he struggled in the postseason. So, it wouldn't be all that surprising if he chose to stay in New York, while also sending a message to the front office that didn't believe in him and the fans that didn't appreciate him. 

The Mets also might have a roster that is built to win a World Series faster than the Yankees, which might sound ridiculous when factoring in when the year ended for both New York teams. But the Mets have more guys scattered throughout their lineup that know how to get on base, and they'd have a more reliable starting rotation if they were to bring Jacob deGrom back. 

All in all, Judge could easily go back to the Yankees next season. New York is going to offer him the world after whiffing last summer. But there's a real possibility he'll end up elsewhere and that's the way to go on the betting market. 

 
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