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AL East rival made big contract offer to Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge running

Aug 23, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (99) runs to first base after hitting a single against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge received interest from several teams in free agency two years ago. One of those teams apparently was a rival squad.

The Tampa Bay Rays are believed to have talked with Judge about a 10-year, $300 million contract prior to last season, the Tampa Bay Times’ Kristie Ackert reported in a story published on Wednesday.

The $300 million offer over 10 years is for less money than the 9-year, $360 million deal Judge received from the Yankees. The Padres offered Judge a heavily deferred $400 million deal, while the Giants also offered the outfielder $360 million. The Rays’ contract to Judge was for less than what the others were offering, but Judge still was honored by their effort.

“It was a very respectful (offer), and I appreciated that they reached out and that they thought enough of me to do that,” Judge said, via The Tampa Bay Times.

Judge also said the idea of playing for the Rays after playing against them his whole career would have been weird.

The 32-year-old has delivered for the Yankees since signing his deal. Though he played in 106 games last season, he still posted a 1.019 OPS. This season he leads the league in home runs (32), RBIs (83), slugging percentage (.677) and OPS (1.103).

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