Aaron Judge’s MVP campaign couldn’t have come at a better time for the Yankees’ impending free agent

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The chants of “MVP” during Aaron Judge’s at-bats began earlier this month.

Asked before the May 17 game in Baltimore whether he’d heard them, both in The Bronx and during the previous series in Chicago when Yankees fans invaded Guaranteed Rate Field, Judge said he hadn’t.

Then he went out that night and hit a pair of homers in a win over the Orioles at Camden Yards. It came again in front of a large contingent of Yankees fans. This time, Judge said, they made an impression, mostly because “it’s quiet here.”

Judge has hardly slowed down since, and could become the first player since Barry Bonds in 1992 to win the MVP award playing in a season as a pending free agent. (Alex Rodriguez became a free agent after winning the MVP in 2007, but infamously opted out of his contract to do so before signing back with the Yankees.)

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