Report : MLB Investigating Mets, Yankees Over Judge Discussions

According to a report by Ken Rosenthal, Major League Baseball is investigating the New York Mets and New York Yankees over Aaron Judge "communications" that may be a violation of baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.

Rosenthal, in The Athletic, says it all dates back to a Nov. 3rd article that reported that the Mets would not bid against the Yankees for their free agent Judge. The Players Association (MLBPA) then asked the Commissioner’s Office to look into whether improper communication occurred between the team owners. 

The article said specifically that Mets owner Steve Cohen and Yankees boss Hal Steinbrenner “enjoy a mutually respectful relationship, and do not expect to upend that with a high-profile bidding war.”

One particular line in the CBA is at issue: “Players shall not act in concert with other Players and Clubs shall not act in concert with other Clubs.” i.e. Was there a bargain struck here to 'stay away'?

The only way the union can win the grievance, says Rosenthal, is if they can prove that the free agent market for Judge was adversely affected by the violation. It's safe to say that at the end of the day, when Judge wins a contract worth well north of $300M, it'll be pretty hard to prove that. 

Judge's prime suitors, in addition to the Yankees, are believed to be the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Photo: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports