Aaron Judge yankees
Tim Heitman | USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge’s free agency technically didn’t last long, but it felt like an eternity for Yankees fans. While the slugger reportedly agreed to terms on December 7th, the speculation about whether he would be leaving the Bronx or not dragged on for months beforehand.

We knew first baseman Anthony Rizzo could have an impact on Judge’s ultimate decision. Those two have grown close, so when he re-signed with the Yankees earlier in the winter, one had to imagine Rizzo started recruiting his buddy to also return.

Judge talked about that on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday. Outside of chatting with interested teams about a new contract, the slugger also had to field constant communication from Rizzo. He also went for Judge’s “heart” by sending him pictures of their dachshunds together, who are apparently just as close as they are:

Judge will get a thunderous ovation from Yankee Stadium on Opening Day in a couple of months. But Rizzo? He’ll get one that might be pretty close to Judge. After all, people appreciate his efforts to keep the single-season American League home run record holder in the Bronx.

Was there really any chance he’d be going elsewhere, though? Fallon asked Judge about the free agency process, where Judge was reportedly being pursued by the San Francisco Giants, and at the last minute, the San Diego Padres. Here’s what he had to say about it all (quote via New York Post):

After every meeting, I’d sit down with my wife, and we kinda look at each other and are like, “we’re Yankees.”

From everything we’ve seen, it seems like Judge was pretty sure about staying with New York. Kudos to Rizzo for not taking anything for granted, though. That man put the proverbial gas pedal to the floor until an agreement was in place.

Also, can we talk about how Aaron Judge has possibly the most ironic kind of dog imaginable? This man is listed as 6’7″ and 282 pounds. I’d love nothing more in this life than to watch him walking Penny down the street for their midday walk. That’s the kind of content everyone needs.

Yankees fans not have to think about what life is like without Aaron Judge in pinstripes. But just as important, Penny and Kevin (Rizzo’s dog) won’t have to think about being apart, either. And in the end, as Fallon said himself, it all comes down to your pet.

Matt Musico can be reached at matt.musico@xlmedia.com and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.