Now, before you dismiss this as another “clickbait” article, hear me out and read to the end of the article before you make a judgment (oh, did you see what I did here).
Before we get into why Aaron Judge would be a perfect addition to the Nationals, let’s take a quick look at the budget numbers and what the Nationals will be able to spend next winter on some free agents. According to our friends at TalkNats.com, the Nationals’ CBT payroll is $100,670,000, and the Major League Baseball CBT threshold is $233,000,000; therefore, the Nationals could spend to keep under the cap: $132,329,999.
This includes the amount the team has to carry $35 million for Strasburg & $23.33 million for Patrick Corbin. (for those who are good and aren’t good with math, that’s $58.33M combined.)
At the end of the day, the new owners for the Washington Nationals could spend $80 million this off-season if they want. Aaron Judge would be a perfect addition to the Nationals for the upcoming season and beyond.
Why Aaron Judge?
Back in April, Judge turned down what Yankees GM Brian Cashman said was a seven-year, $213.5 million contract that would have kicked in next season, opting instead to get what turned out to be $19 million this year before entering the open market. At the time, there were plenty of reasons to believe that Judge might be foolish for taking this risk: He was about to turn 30 years old, he had struggled with durability in the past, and a changed baseball threatened to bring down the numbers of every power hitter.
In the first 104 games of this Yankees season, Judge has silenced every concern, smashing the ball harder and more consistently than anyone in baseball as he’s banished pitch after pitch over the left field wall in Yankee Stadium. Earlier this week, on Monday night, with the Mariners in town, Judge contributed to a 7-2 win by punishing a tremendous mistake from Seattle starter Marco Gonzales. An 87 mph pitch on the upper inside corner of the strike zone became a two-run bomb that traveled an estimated 420 feet.
Aaron Judge to the Nationals
There are a couple of reasons why Judge to the Washington Nationals makes sense, but let’s be honest here: baseball is a business. With the Nationals struggling in the star power department, the marketing department, and need power in the lineup, the Nationals need a power bat and some leadership in the clubhouse for the new prospects that will be making their way to the majors. At age 30, Judge would be a good leader that can help develop and be the leader that the Nationals need.
Before the 2022 New York Yankees season, Judge and the New York Yankees failed to negotiate a long-term contract with the Yankees. General manager Brian Cashman told ESPN that the team offered Judge $17 million in arbitration and a $213.5 million, seven-year extension. The Nationals can easily make this offer or even a better one to land the right-handed bat.
With the departure of Juan Soto, the Nationals need a super start to play in any sort of position to attract local Washington Nationals fans to games, and Judge would fit into that slot perfectly. Oh, and the Nationals need a right fielder who can also hit, and Judge fits that profile. Whoever the new owners of the Washington Nationals will be, they will want to make a splash to motivate fans to come to the ballpark regularly.
With some significant resources and new ownership in Washington, the stars might be perfectly aligned for the team to land the former Rookie of the Year and 4x All-Star to mand right field for years to come.