Aaron Judge and Josh Hader's decision deal with MLB's best and worst moves of the year

Aaron Judge and Josh Hader’s decision deal with MLB’s best and worst moves of the year

Aaron Judge surprised people by turning down the Yankees’ seven-year, $213.5 million offer on the eve of this season. The judge bet big and won bigger. Yankees President Randy Levine called Judge “the Yankee of all time” on The Post podcast “The Show.” With Judge at 55 homers and counting, the price goes up, maybe $75 million or more.

Thus, Judge tops my very first list of the top five decisions of the past calendar year. Here are the five best decisions, and to balance out the five worst, of the past 365 days.

Five Up

1. The judge declines the Yankees’ offer.

The Yankees made a reasonable offer. But now, the judge’s estimated $36 million salary seems more than reasonable.

“He’s a $40 million player,” said one pundit. While the negotiations did not go perfectly, few expect him to leave. The only advantage the Yankees have in the talks: The stripes are a major asset.

2. The Dodgers sign Freddie Freeman for $162 million, six years.

Speaking of not expecting anyone to leave, Freeman appeared on the verge of tears upon returning to play as a Dodger in Atlanta. Either way, Los Angeles got it for about the same price (or even a little less if you count California taxes and hefty deferrals in the deal) as the offer that upset him. des Braves ($135 million for five officially, $140 million verbally).

Judge Aaron
Judge Aaron
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

3. The Phillies hire bench coach Rob Thomson as manager, replacing Joe Girardi.

Thomson was Girardi’s right-hand man, but in terms of behavior, it’s quite the opposite. As serious as Girardi seems, that’s how loose Thomson is. The change worked wonders, as the Phillies fought their way to playoff position.

4. The Marlins sign Sandy Alcantara for $56 million over five years, plus an option for 2027.

Alcantara is a Cy Young favorite and his full four games are more than most teams. Hats off to former Marlins general manager Michael Hill, who acquired Alcantara, Zac Gallen, Daniel Castano and Magneuris Sierra for Marcell Ozuna.

5. The Astros sign Justin Verlander for $25 million for 2022, plus a player option.

That move could have been even higher had the Astros stuck to their original two-year contract, which was changed when team doctors thought they saw something. Now the Cy Young favorite will obviously use this option.

Honorable mention: Cardinals sign Albert Pujols for $2.5 million; White Sox sign Johnny Cueto to underage deal; Mets hire Buck Showalter; Dodgers sign Tyler Anderson for $8 million and re-sign Clayton Kershaw for $17 million; Yankees acquire Jose Trevino in trade with Texas, sign Matt Carpenter for $2 million off Rangers exit; Rangers sign Martin Perez for $4 million; The Orioles, Mariners and Royals promotions of Adley Rutschman, Julio Rodriguez and Bobby Witt Jr., respectively.

five down

1. The Brewers trade Josh Hader for Taylor Rogers and three prospects.

Analytically and logically, it made sense. Hader is entitled to a $10 million pay raise, is a year away from free agency, and has begun to struggle. As his struggles only got worse in San Diego, it felt like a bomb had been dropped on the Brewers clubhouse.

Josh Hader
Josh Hader

2. The Tigers sign Javier Baez for $140 million.

Baez is a talented and exciting player known for his wild swings, and pitchers have taken advantage of his striking platform, or lack thereof. A complete boost to Detroit.

3. The Marlins sign Avisail Garcia for $53 million over four years.

Garcia was apparently the fallback choice for former CEO Derek Jeter, who reportedly initially sought out Nick Castellanos but focused on Garcia when other Miami executives were reportedly “lukewarm” to him. Big mistake.

4. The Phillies sign Castellanos for $100 million over five years.

Luckily the Marlins didn’t get it either. Castellanos can strike, but hasn’t done it well enough to make up for his defensive shortcomings.

5. The Red Sox fail to extend Rafael Devers or Xander Bogaerts.

While giving Trevor Story $140 million, Boston failed to make realistic offers to its top two players.

Devers’ offer was reportedly modeled after Matt Olson’s $168 million contract, so it likely fell by half. They didn’t even come close to Bogaerts, only offering to add another year at $20 million under market.

Dishonorable mention: Fernando Tatis was injured during one of the many motorcycle rides; Tatis fails her PED test.

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