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Aaron Judge... Los Angeles Dodger?

The 2022 AL MVP has hit the open market.

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

For what seems like forever, the Dodgers have been linked to every big-name free agent or potential trade piece on the market. Time and time again, Andrew Friedman would pass on making the move for guys like Francisco Lindor, Nolan Arenado, and Bryce Harper.

However, when Friedman finds his guy, he goes for it. After being very hesitant to hand out any long-term “big-money” contracts, the Dodgers signed Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman to massive deals in a span of three years. Could Aaron Judge be another one of those guys?

If they choose to make a push, the Dodgers are a realistic landing spot for the 2022 American League MVP, writes R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports. It’s no secret that for the first time in many years, the Dodgers can shed a significant amount of payroll if they choose, with over $100 million coming off of the books. That being said, this doesn’t seem like a front office that is going to decide that now, in the middle of a championship window, is the time to cut back on spending.

In terms of fit, Judge works. I mean, his bat slides right into any lineup, and if for some reason it doesn’t, you find room. Judge is coming off of one of baseball’s all-time great individual seasons, setting the AL single-season home run record.

That being said, Judge is already 30 years old and an outfielder may not be at the top of the Dodgers’ priority list. All signs point to Trea Turner leaving LA, leaving the Dodgers will a hole at shortstop that they’re going to need to fill, whether it be on the free agent market or through trade. The Dodgers have a history of turning infielders into major-league caliber outfielders (Bellinger, Taylor), and could very well opt to try and find an outfielder to replace Bellinger internally.

Read Anderson’s entire article here.

Dodgers Links

Trea Turner is one of multiple marquee shortstops that have hit the open market this offseason. Kiley McDaniel at ESPN writes about how the former 13th overall pick reached this point.

Yasiel Puig, who had previously agreed to plead guilty in an illegal gambling investigation, has changed course, writes The Athletic.

Juan Toribio of writes about baseball’s first in-person Winter Meetings since 2019 and what the Dodgers need to do to be successful.