Many expect the Yankees to do what it takes to re-sign Aaron Judge. But what if they don’t?

Many expected the Cardinals to re-sign Albert Pujols after the 2011 season, and the Braves to re-sign Freddie Freeman after 2021. Neither did. Point is, when a player reaches the open market, anything is possible.

The Bronx Bombers may want to keep Judge, but there’s a chance he’ll get a better offer from the Giants or Dodgers and take the opportunity to return to his native California. Losing the reigning American League MVP would undoubtedly be devastating for the Yankees and their legion of fans, but the club would have to turn the page quickly.

Here are four moves New York could make if the unthinkable happened and Judge signed with another team.


1) Sign Carlos Correa or Trea Turner

This would be a must. New York might be satisfied with its current options at shortstop, which include prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza and the returning Isiah Kiner-Falefa. But if Judge is gone, the Yanks would need a superstar-level talent to fill the massive void left both on and off the field. 

Enter Correa or Turner. Though neither would be able to directly replace Judge’s offensive output or some of the intangibles he brings to a roster, signing either of the top two shortstops on the market would do a lot to soften the blow of the Yanks losing their best player and to placate a disappointed fan base.


2) Sign Cody Bellinger

Even if the Yankees were able to land Correa or Turner, they’d still need to do something about their opening in right field. Brandon Nimmo, the second-best outfielder on the market after Judge, is a nice player who has New York experience, but he has Draft compensation attached to him after declining the Mets’ qualifying offer. Signing Nimmo would cost the Yankees their second- and fifth-highest picks in the 2023 Draft (or their third- and sixth-highest picks if they also signed Turner, another QO free agent), plus $1 million from their international bonus pool.