Heading into the offseason, everyone around baseball understood that Aaron Judge's free agency decision would operate as a domino for the rest of the teams. As the most coveted player available, he would be the one to set the market.
The New York Yankees certainly couldn't account for the rest of their offseason plans until his future was decided, and the same was true of the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants, both of whom were among the three finalists for Judge.
While the Chicago Cubs weren't one of the top contenders for Judge, they were still among the surprising losers in his free agency saga.
In addition to Judge, Justin Verlander, Trea Turner and Jacob deGrom are also off the board. That means this top tier of MLB free agents is thinning out, with only a few of the star shortstops like Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson and Xander Bogaerts still up for grabs.
And the two teams listed above -- the Giants and Padres -- have made it quite clear they plan to spend big this offseason. Both have already missed out on a number of the big names like Judge and Turner, meaning there'll be even more competition for the few big fishes remaining in the free-agent pool.
Giants insider Alex Pavlovic confirmed this thought process, saying the next step for San Francisco is to "dive into the shortstop market" and putting Correa at the "top of their list." That means a team like the Cubs -- who were originally pursuing a big-name shortstop -- could end up as losers in this situation. It doesn't make a Correa or Swanson signing impossible, but the competition just got a whole lot stiffer.
Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.