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Crawford: Giants 'pulled out all the stops' in Judge recruitment

Rob Leiter / Major League Baseball / Getty

The San Francisco Giants were seemingly close to landing free-agent outfielder Aaron Judge earlier this winter, but the American League MVP opted to return to the New York Yankees on a nine-year, $360-million contract.

And according to Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, the choice wasn't made due to any shortcomings in his team's pitch.

"I was here for the Judge recruitment a little bit," Crawford said on NBC Sports Bay Area. "And, I mean, the reason he went back to the Yankees wasn't because of the weekend he had here, because it was first class. We pulled out all the stops. But he wanted to stay with the Yankees, and I don't blame him for wanting to stay with the team that he grew up playing for."

Due to what turned out to be an erroneous report, it was believed Judge had decided on signing with the Giants. However, roughly one day later, it was reported that Judge would return to the Yankees, where he'd spent the first seven years of his career.

Even the Giants' rival, the San Diego Padres, reportedly offered more to Judge: a 10-year, $400-million contract.

After being selected 32nd overall by the Yankees in the 2013 MLB Draft, Judge made his big-league debut in 2016. After a relatively forgettable 27-game stint to finish that campaign, Judge bounced back with a 52-homer season to capture AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2017. The three-time Silver Slugger owns a .977 OPS (163 OPS+) over 729 games.

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