Report: MLB Launches Probe Into Yankees, Mets Communications Over Aaron Judge

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball reportedly has launched a probe into both the New York Yankees and New York Mets, at the request of the MLB Players Association. The investigation is based on suspicions of alleged improper communication between the owners of both franchises, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and Mets owner Steve Cohen, surrounding free agent star Aaron Judge.

The league intends to put in a request to obtain the contact history between Steinbrenner and Cohen. Contact such as text messages, phone calls, and records of e-mails may all be sought as part of the inquiry. The legal situation arose from a SNY article posted on November 3rd. The story highlighted the “mutually respectful relationship” established between Cohen and Steinbrenner. Both owners reportedly expressed no interest in compromising their business relationship by getting into a bidding war for Judge, according to the report.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement regarding the investigation while also downplaying the allegations of collusion by the clubs.

“I’m absolutely confident that the clubs behaved in a way that was consistent with the agreement. This was based on a newspaper report. We will put ourselves in a position to demonstrate credibly to the MLBPA that this is not an issue. I’m sure that’s going to be the outcome. But obviously we understand the emotion that surrounds that word [collusion] and we’ll proceed accordingly.” 

Judge hit 62 home runs in a single season in 2022, which set a new league record after breaking the previous record held by former Yankee player Roger Maris. Before the start of the 2022 year, the Yankees outfielder turned down a seven-year contract that would have paid him more than $213 million. Instead, he signed a one-year, $19 million contract; he will be a free agent at the end of the season.

CBS Sports has more HERE.