New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels discussed Aaron Judge trade

Apr 14, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning against theToronto Blue Jays at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge from the New York Yankees to the Los Angeles Angels in a blockbuster MLB trade? While that seems unfathomable on the surface, it’s being reported that one of the faces of the New York Yankees nearly made the cross-country trip to Southern California.

The Yankees and Los Angeles Angels “briefly” discussed a trade for slugger Aaron Judge this offseason, according to a report from ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Olney added that the conversation was “the lightest of flirtations,” meaning talks likely never got too serious.

It’s not yet known what the Angels would have had to give up in order to land Aaron Judge. Obviously, rumors would suggest that Mike Trout might have been involved. However, that seems highly unlikely given his status as the best player in MLB right now.

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Aaron Judge trade rumors and injury history

Aaron Judge trade from the New York Yankees to Los Angeles Angels?
Apr 24, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a double in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a major backdrop to all of this. It’s possible that the Yankees just aren’t sold on Judge staying healthy. The 28-year-old power hitter missed 32 of a possible 60 games during the truncated 2020 season. Back in 2019, he missed 60 games to injury and was off the field for 50 games in 2018.

Judge averaged 107 games played per season in 2018-19 before playing in just 28 games in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 campaign.

Despite this, we’re talking about one of the premium power hitters in the game. Judge has hit .271 for the Yankees over his six-year career, including 123 home runs and 276 RBI.

Slated to be a free agent in 2023, Aaron Judge has not talked contract extension with the Yankees. A native of California and star at Fresno State, he has a link to California.

If the Yankees opt against signing Judge to a massive contract extension within the next several months, we could hear his name pop up in trade rumors leading up to the July deadline.

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For now, it’s fun to look at what a potential Aaron Judge trade to the Los Angeles Angels would have looked like. Despite boasting Trout and Shohei Ohtani, the Angels entered Sunday’s action with a 9-10 record and in fourth place in the American League West. The team has not earned a spot in the playoffs since all the way back in 2014.

As for the Yankees, they are also off to a pedestrian 9-11 start to the season. Much like we’ve seen in previous years, Aaron Judge has missed time to injury (two games) this season. He’s hitting .250 with four homers and eight RBI in 18 games.

(Field Level Media contributed to this story)