MLBits: The Judge Becomes The Captain, Cohen and the Mets Keep Spending (And I'm Not Mad About It), More

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MLBits: The Judge Becomes The Captain, Cohen and the Mets Keep Spending (And I’m Not Mad About It), More

Chicago Cubs

It’s so cold outside that I’m contemplating leaving my trash cans at the curb, and the best part is, we’re still 24 hours away from getting punched in the face by blizzard-like conditions leading into Christmas Eve in these parts. But I’d be lying if I said that writing about baseball this afternoon didn’t warm me up, at least a little bit.

Yankees Name Aaron Judge Captain

After hitting an American League and Yankees franchise record 62 home runs (and signing a nine-year, $360 million contract), Aaron Judge was today named the franchise’s sixteenth team captain. Judge was named the newest captain, with the most famous one of all time, Derek Jeter, on hand this morning.

Michael: “As a Cubs fan, I want my reaction to be “Who cares, it’s the captain of some non-Cubs team.” But I can’t help myself. As a baseball fan, it’s pretty cool to see a new Yankees captain, from Jeter to Judge. It’s just cool. The Yankees have some magic.”

Personally, I don’t put much stock into team captains in professional baseball, but mostly because not all teams do. The White Sox last named Paul Konerko their team captain, and that title has rightfully been vacant since he retired. But for a team like the Yankees, who pride themselves so much on tradition, for better or worse (the no facial hair rule is stupid), this is a really cool honor for Judge and a cool moment for Yankees fans.

Judge also spoke about his free agency process this morning:

Here’s Yankees’ owner Hal Steinbrenner on the decision to name Judge the next captain of the Yankees:

The Non-Stop Mets

Here’s a new game; small-market MLB teams should have to spend at least as much as the New York Mets’ luxury tax penalties.

I mean, sheesh. After we all woke up to the wild news that the New York Mets swooped in and pried Correa from the Giants in the middle of the night, the Mets will have a monstrosity of a payroll totaling nearly $500 million with their $110 million in luxury tax penalties included.

If you missed it, here’s Brett’s story on the signing this morning:

Michael also shared some thoughts on the stunning turn of events that began with a postponed introductory press conference due to a medical issue that popped up within the Giants pre-signing medicals:

Whatever happened in San Francisco, I feel bad for their fans, who, for six days, thought they were landing one of baseball’s most prized free agents. Heck, for six minutes, they also thought they were landing Aaron Judge before that. It’s been a rough winter for Giants fans.

As far as the Mets go, they’ve committed $800 million in future money to nine players and seem intent on spending their way to a title.

What’s crazy about this is that I hated the Yankees when I was growing up for that exact reason. But I’ve realized that it’s just business. And why hate the team spending the money to do right by their fans and field a championship roster? Why not direct that angst to the more-than-capable owners who refuse to do so for their fans?

As a baseball fan, and more particularly a White Sox fan, I’m not mad at Steve Cohen for spending like it’s going out of style. I’m angry at Jerry Reinsdorf for not doing the same. And honestly, I hope that Cohen’s loyalty to his fan base pays off for the Mets. Maybe then some of the penny-pinching billionaire owners around baseball will take note.

Michael: I, by contrast, hope the Mets lose in whatever is the most painful way imaginable (but I do get Patrick’s points).

Odds and Ends:

  • Seeing Carlos Rodon here makes me sad, but they have a point … the Yankees rotation will be pretty darn good next season. Although, I don’t think they’ll be the best in baseball.
  • Hats off to Cubs fans, I really like Dansby Swanson’s game and I know he’ll be an instant fan favorite on the North Side.
  • Matt Carpenter is heading to San Diego on a one-year deal with a player option for the 2024 season. Carpenter slashed .305/.412/.727. when he was healthy last season in New York.
  • 99 days and counting …

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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.