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Aaron Judge is coming off a historic season and is now a free agent. We can skip the rest of what could be a meaty introduction and just get right to the point here: Let's make the hypothetical case for the Mets to sign Aaron Judge, just like we did with the Giants and the Dodgers.

To be clear before proceeding, I don't necessarily, personally, believe everything said below. I'm putting myself in the mindset of "here's why the Mets should sign Judge" and going all out in making the argument. 

The power 

Remember that last series against the Braves in Atlanta where the Mets could have put the NL East away and instead were swept? One of the easier observations between the two teams was the Mets needing to string together a bunch of hits to score runs while the Braves just slugged. In this era where the pitchers are so much better than they ever have been, the key to the best offenses moving through the playoffs is being able to put one over the fence. It's easy to say teams shouldn't be overly reliant on the home run, and that shouldn't be the only way they can score, but we've been tracking for years that the teams hitting more home runs win a significant majority of playoff games and it's not a coincidence. 

Sure enough, the Mets hit two homers to the Padres' one in their lone 2022 playoff win while San Diego outhomered them 4-1 in the two Mets' losses. 

In the regular season, the Mets led the NL in hits and batting average. They were second in on-base percentage, yet they finished third in runs scored, thanks to sitting fifth in slugging percentage and eighth in home runs. Among the 12 MLB playoff teams, the Mets ranked ninth in home runs. They tied for 15th overall. The Yankees were first, Braves second, Astros fourth, Dodgers fifth and Phillies sixth, by the way. 

Further, Pete Alonso accounted for more than 23 percent (40 of 171) of the Mets home runs on his own. 

Adding Aaron Judge would give the Mets two of the premier power hitters in all of baseball while also depriving any other team of getting Judge. All of a sudden, that's a huge power leap. 

The lineup

With Judge and Alonso, the Mets would have two of the biggest home run threats in baseball and possibly the two biggest. There are only three active players with a 50-HR season and these are two of them (and I'd be willing to bet the other, Giancarlo Stanton, never even hits 40 in a season again). 

Just like that, the Mets would have those two providing the thump while the likes of Francisco Lindor and Starling Marte are more "well-rounded" hitters who can also top 20 home runs. 

Farther down the order are Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar and Daniel Vogelbach, who show power, and, of course, there's the high-average, high-contact guy in Jeff McNeil

They could set the table with McNeil and either Lindor or Marte before Judge and Alonso while Lindor or Marte "protects" the cleanup hitter before the likes of Canha, Escobar and Vogelbach. It would still be a well-rounded lineup but there would be some serious thunder through the middle, the likes of which the Mets have never had. Take a look: 

1. McNeil
2. Lindor
3. Judge
4. Alonso
5. Marte
6. Vogelbach
7. Escobar
8. Canha
9. McCann/Nido

That's pretty strong, huh? 

The Mets have only had two seasons with multiple players topping 35 home runs (1987 with Howard Johnson and Darryl Strawberry and 2006 with Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado). They've only had five players ever get to 40 and Alonso's 53 in 2019 is the only season in which a Mets player has ever hit more than 41. Judge and Alonso could both top that in 2023 together. 

The money

It will take an outrageous-looking deal to pry Judge away from the Yankees and other bidders -- such as the Giants -- but the Mets can afford it. Plus, they aren't in bad shape moving forward in terms of mega-salary types. 

Yes, 2023 would get sticky and the Mets will easily go over the luxury tax. That's small potatoes, though, for an owner like Steve Cohen -- a lifelong Mets fan who wants to use a relatively small portion of his money to push his team over the top, which means spending huge on players like Judge sometimes. 

Past 2024, the only salaried Mets right now are Lindor, Marte and Edwin Díaz. Past 2025, it's only Lindor. There's plenty of room here to blow any offer out of the water, should Cohen and his front office so desire. 

The harming of the Yankees

Let's face it, doing things that benefit the Mets and hurt the Yankees is killing two birds with one stone from the perspective of the Mets and their fans. The Yankees have made it no secret that their number one, overarching priority this offseason is to make sure Aaron Judge is with the Yankees for the rest of his career. They haven't spoken like this publicly about a player in a while. You could term it as desperation, if so inclined. 

And while the most important thing is setting up your team to win as much as possible, both long-term and in the short-term with this group, there would surely be a small sliver of satisfaction involved in ruining the Yankees' offseason while signing one of the best players in baseball. 

Establishing a powerhouse

It goes beyond just hurting the Yankees, too. The Mets already traded for Lindor and signed him to a huge deal. They won the bidding for Max Scherzer last offseason. They made sure Díaz didn't even really test free agency. Going out and getting Judge continues to move things toward a place where Cohen and so many Mets fans have long wished they'd be: a dominant winner. It's the team every other fan base fears when a free agent they fancy hits the open market. 

Mets fans: Just imagine hearing someone mutter something like, "he'll probably sign with the Mets because they always get whoever they want." Music to your ears, right? 

A Judge signing pushes things in that direction.