Judge was this offseason's hottest free agent and this news comes following a wild Tuesday in which Jon Heyman reported he was signing with the San Francisco Giants. Buzz was growing that a deal was done, but it’s unclear how much of that buzz was created by Heyman’s initial report. The reporter later reported the Giants hadn’t heard back yet from Judge, and so we were back to square one.
But now, Wednesday morning, it would appear this is wrapping up and should be made official by the Yankees sooner rather than later. The 30-year-old is coming off a season where he hit .311 with 62 home runs and 131 RBI. His batting average ranked fifth best in the league, while his home run and RBI total led the league. This was his seventh year in the league and his best season.
Judge will return to his role as an everyday outfielder for the Yankees. Whenever he needs a day off from the field, he will likely slot in as the team’s DH, as you don’t want to be missing his bat from your lineup if you can help it.
Judge shouldn’t see much change in his fantasy baseball value. Unless he takes a surprising step back, his power numbers should translate to the new season. He will likely be going in the top five of your drafts, and it really just depends on how you feel about taking an outfielder early. Most leagues allow you to start three outfielders, so some strategies suggest you take someone from a shallower position earlier. Regardless, Judge should be a top-five draft pick.