MLB rumors: Aaron Judge, Padres held last-minute meeting for surprise $400M bid

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Report: Padres offered Judge massive last-minute bid originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Yes, the Giants missed out on superstar Aaron Judge. Instead of returning home to the Bay Area, Judge stayed put in the Bronx by reportedly agreeing to a massive nine-year contract worth $360 million with the New York Yankees on Wednesday morning.

Reports indicated throughout the MLB Winter Meetings that Judge's decision was down to the Giants and Yankees. But on Tuesday night, an NL West division rival swooped in and attempted to lure Judge to Southern California.

The San Diego Padres reportedly hosted Judge in a surprise meeting Tuesday night and offered the slugger a whopping 10-year contract worth $400 million, per USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

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Instead of joining an outfield with Juan Soto and becoming the Padres' third player with a contract worth more than $300 million, Judge opted to return to the Yankees. He will sign a contract one year shorter in length and $40 million cheaper than San Diego's reported offer, but Judge's new deal is significantly larger than the one New York offered in the spring (seven years, $213.5 million).

The Yankees now are the first team in MLB history to feature three players on $300 million contracts: Judge, slugger Giancarlo Stanton and right-hander Gerrit Cole.

RELATED: MLB Twitter reacts to Judge choosing Yankees over Giants

Judge now joins a long list of top-tier players the Giants narrowly missed on via free agency or trade, amongst the likes of Soto, Stanton, Shohei Ohtani and Bryce Harper. The Giants now will regroup and try to bring in star power in a different fashion, perhaps via free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa or left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodón.

But as the Padres proved by swooping into the Judge sweepstakes at the final minute, there will be plenty of competition for those stars, especially in the crowded NL West.

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