The Los Angeles Dodgers have now shaved $100 million off their books, making it look like a move for Aaron Judge is in the works.
Friday’s news that the Dodgers were going to non-tender Cody Bellinger wasn’t earth-shattering, but it did contribute to a pretty huge narrative for Los Angeles this offseason.
The boys in Blue have now trimmed $100 million off their payroll by non-tendering Bellinger, declining Justin Turner’s 2023 option, losing Tyler Anderson to the Angels, having Trea Turner decline his qualifying offer and letting Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Heaney and David Price walk in free agency.
Now, Jon Heyman of MLB.com says the scuttlebutt around baseball has the Dodgers making a big move for Aaron Judge.
Dodgers rumored to make run at Aaron Judge with $100 million off books
“Word going around now is Dodgers will make a run at Aaron Judge. Logical with $100M now off the books with Bellinger, Kimbrel, Anderson, Heaney, Price and 2 Turners off the roster. Needs include SS, 3B, SPs, RP and now OF,” Heyman tweeted after Bellinger’s non-tender hit the newswires.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network suggested much of the same: “If #Dodgers non-tender Cody Bellinger, as many expect, they will become a more plausible landing spot for Aaron Judge. Thanks to multiple free agents, they have tens of millions coming off the books already; without Bellinger, they’d need to add an outfielder.”
Bringing in Judge could mean playing him in center field alongside Mookie Betts in right. The reigning AL MVP could also take over for Betts in right while shifting Betts to play second base. Betts has already indicated he’d be open to that move.
Of course, the bigger hurdle to getting Judge to Los Angeles isn’t figuring out how he’d impact Betts’ positioning. It’s beating out the Yankees, the Giants and the other teams competing for his signature.
The Dodgers will have the cash. We’ll see if it’s enough.