Giants continuing talks with Judge

December 6th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- The first day of the Winter Meetings concluded without much action from the Giants, but they remain strongly in the mix for the biggest prize on the board.

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said the Giants are continuing to have conversations with reigning American League MVP , who spent his evening taking in a Monday Night Football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

Zaidi declined to offer many details on his talks with Judge, though he confirmed that the Giants hosted the 30-year-old slugger at Oracle Park prior to Thanksgiving last month.

“Obviously, it’s kind of public knowledge that we had a visit with him,” Zaidi said Monday. “We usually don’t kind of comment on free agents at all, but that’s out there. We had a good visit. Obviously, that makes our interest official. Those conversations are continuing. We’re just trying to put our best foot forward. The process continues. But obviously, we have really, really strong interest. We thought it was a really productive visit a couple of weeks ago.”

Zaidi said the Giants haven’t been given a specific timeline for when Judge might sign, though a decision could be coming soon, as’s Bryan Hoch reported that Judge is expected to arrive in San Diego on Tuesday.

The Giants are widely viewed as the biggest threats to lure Judge away from the Yankees, who have reportedly made their franchise star an offer worth approximately $300 million over eight years. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday that Judge will likely end up commanding a nine-year deal that will take him through his age-39 season.

Zaidi said the Giants are looking to add “multiple outfielders” this season, so they remain in contact with other free agents as they await a decision from Judge.

Upgrading the defense will be a big priority this winter, so San Francisco could target a center fielder such as , who was spotted at the Manchester Grand Hyatt on Monday, or , who was non-tendered by the Dodgers last month. , a Bay Area native who attended Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, could also be a good fit for the Giants.

“We’re kind of doing different things in parallel,” Zaidi said. “For us, it hasn’t really impacted what we’re doing elsewhere. Maybe that’s true for other teams, but not for us. I think part of it for us is we’re looking to add multiple outfielders. We’re in that market, even beyond Aaron. It’s not really impacting our workflow in that way.”

The Giants will have the resources to pivot if necessary, but for now, their focus remains on Judge. Zaidi said San Francisco’s pitch to Judge was a “pretty big collaborative effort,” noting that over 30 members of the organization provided input for the meeting.

“I feel good about what we’ve done process-wise,” Zaidi said. “I feel good about what we’ve done. Obviously some of it is beyond our control. I just don’t want to characterize it beyond that. It’s been a lot of people in the organization that put in a lot of work. I think we’ve put ourselves in a good position, but free agency is about players getting to make these decisions.”