MLB investigating free agent report about Aaron Judge
MLB is looking into some comments that appeared recently about Aaron Judge and Justin Verlander to see whether they violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement by affecting the respective players’ free agent markets.
The issue regarding Judge stems from an article published on Nov. 3 by SNY’s Andy Martino. In the article, Martino says there is mutual respect between New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and Mets owner Steve Cohen, and that Cohen won’t engage in a bidding war with the Yankees over Judge. The players association apparently wants to investigate whether there is any communication on record between the two owners regarding this supposed agreement regarding Judge.
The thinking is that a potential big spender like the Mets not getting involved in the bidding for Judge could suppress the outfielder’s market. MLB is looking into the matter, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
Likewise, the players association is concerned about a quote from Houston Astros owner Jim Crane about Verlander.
Crane said that Verlander is looking for a deal similar to the 3-year, $130 million contract Max Scherzer received from the Mets.
The players union could argue that Crane’s comments could influence Verlander’s market. Neither players nor clubs are allowed to comment about the value of unsigned free agents.
Regardless of whether or not MLB determines any violations occurred, both players are expected to land significant deals in free agency.