Bonds hopes Giants sign Judge: 'We would love to have him'
Major League Baseball's home-run king is hoping Aaron Judge brings his power show back home next year.
San Francisco Giants icon Barry Bonds wants his team to make a push for the soon-to-be free agent. Bonds, like Judge, is a Bay Area native and feels the call of home could help lure the superstar away from the New York Yankees.
"I hope he signs here," Bonds, now a special adviser for the Giants, told Sportico's Barry M. Bloom this week. "Can it happen? I don't know. It depends on what the Yankee payroll is. But we would love to have him, I'll tell you that."
Bonds added, "We in the Bay Area - he's a Bay Area boy - we hope they don't sign him, and we can get him. I would. He's that good."
Earlier this week, Judge became the first player to hit 60 homers since Bonds' record-setting 73 in 2001. The 30-year-old enters Friday one homer shy of tying Roger Maris' American League and Yankees single-season record, and he also leads in all three Triple Crown categories.
Judge is set to cash in big on his unprecedented campaign. He turned down the Yankees' seven-year, $213.5-million extension offer just before Opening Day, and teams will be lining up to try to outbid the Bronx Bombers this winter - including, potentially, the Giants.
A native of nearby Stockton, California, Judge grew up a huge fan of both the Giants and Bonds, whom he called "the greatest hitter of all time" in an interview with John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle earlier in September. Judge has reminisced fondly about watching Bonds' record run as a 9-year-old and maintains that 73 is the legitimate record, even though Bonds' connections to performance-enhancing drugs taint his achievement for some fans.
For now, Bonds is rooting for Judge to catch him, even if it is a long shot. Judge would have to hit 13 homers over the Yankees' final 13 games just to grab a share of the record, but the 58-year-old thinks he's capable of doing it.
"Go for it," Bonds said. "The way he swings, he might as well hit one a day and get past me. I don't care. Why not?"