Yankees-Mets alleged truce in Aaron Judge bidding war prompts investigation: report

 

Aaron Judge is the big fish lurking in the free-agent waters and it remained unclear whether he will re-join the New York Yankees or sign with one of the number of teams reportedly interested in the American League home-run-record holder, including the New York Mets.

But both the Yankees and Mets are under investigation over comments made in an SNY story earlier this month, The Athletic reported Wednesday. Sources told the TV network the Mets wouldn’t fight the Yankees in a bidding war for the slugging outfielder and that team owners Steve Cohen and Hal Steinbrenner “enjoy a mutually respectful relationship.”

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This photo from a Zoom press conference shows New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, Nov. 10, 2020.
(New York Mets via AP)

Additionally, the report said the Mets could only get into the Judge game if the Yankees “declared themselves totally out of the bidding.”

The story was picked up by the MLB Players Association and the union directed questions to the Commissioner’s Office about potential violations to the collective bargaining agreement, according to The Athletic. MLB and MLBPA officials, and the teams, declined to comment to the outlet.

The Athletic noted the CBA prohibits the sharing of player contracts: “Players shall not act in concert with other Players and Clubs shall not act in concert with other Clubs.”

Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner of the New York Yankees, speaking to reporters during spring training camp in Tampa, Florida, on March 16, 2022.
(J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images)

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Cohen and Steinbrenner may have to provide documents related to conversations that took place in the period in question.

Judge and the Yankees agreed to table their negotiations to the offseason after the arbitrary Opening Day deadline passed in April.

Steinbrenner said Tuesday he wanted Judge to be a Yankee for life.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees during a double header at Globe Life Field on Oct. 4, 2022, in Arlington, Texas.
(Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)

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“I’ve absolutely conveyed that I want him to be a Yankee for the rest of his life,” Steinbrenner said at the MLB owners meetings, via ESPN. “No doubt about that. He knows that.”