Dodgers: 3 Cody Bellinger trades that make sense if LAD bails

Adam Weinrib
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his pop fly out to end the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on September 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his pop fly out to end the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on September 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees and Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

1. Cody Bellinger to the Yankees

Forget prospects. Don’t need ’em, don’t want ’em. You clicked on this article to get crazy, so let’s talk crazy.

The New York Yankees, as we all knew they would be, are heavily relying on Brett Gardner to soak up innings this season after Aaron Hicks went down early in the season. They banked on Anthony Rizzo and Luke Voit, meaning Giancarlo Stanton has made a few outfield appearances, but even so, their depth chart is still thin, and Hicks isn’t walking through that door next year with any expectations attached to his name.

At the same time, the “infield so packed they can’t find room for Trevor Story” has gotten leaky. Gleyber Torres has been a barely-above-replacement powerless infielder this year, Voit’s somehow found himself in the dog house despite dominating for a stretch in mid-August once he was reinstalled as the starter, and Gio Urshela — also scuffling — might find himself the odd man out once Torres is moved off shortstop.

Could Corey Seager replace him in the Yankees’ infield? Could Bellinger join him once again?! In exchange for … either Torres, or Urshela and a prospect?

If Torres is the move, Dodgers fans must recall that he was held in Bellinger-like esteem back in 2019, too, socking 38 homers at the age of 22. Acuña Jr. Soto. Torres. These were, at one point, the members of the next wave. Though he’s fallen astoundingly far since then, posting an 86 OPS+ with poor defense this season, he’s still a proven playoff performer who may benefit from being taken off shortstop entirely.

If the Dodgers would prefer a shorter-term commitment to Urshela, though, who also came alive in the Bronx in 2019 to the tune of a 133 OPS+ (backed up by a 137 mark in 2020), they could have him through 2023 and would be able to deploy his sometimes-spectacular glove at both third and short (and, we guess, second). Add in a mid-range Yanks prospect like righty Yoendrys Gomez, and that could be the match.

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