Wondering where New York Yankees star Aaron Judge is going to sign this offseason? He’ll be the biggest name on the market by far, and his likely MVP season will only intensify the demand for his talents. Are the Los Angeles Dodgers a possibility? Who knows! They surprise us every year.
Nothing’s been fairly explicit on that front, though, whereas there’s been a clear link, as well as insider rumblings, in regard to Judge potentially signing on with the San Francisco Giants, the team he rooted for as a kid growing up in northern California.
It might not feel like it, but free agency is just about six weeks away. It’s inching closer and closer. Judge probably won’t make a decision right off the bat, but the fact that the process is set to begin that soon just further emphasizes how the entire landscape of MLB and even just the NL West division could change very soon.
That’s also coinciding with more speculation that Judge will be a Giant when all is said and done. Kiley McDaniel of ESPN (subscription required) polled nine MLB executives who prognosticated Judge’s future.
Now, this isn’t the end-all be-all. Most actually said he would stay with the Yankees (4). Two believed he’d land with the Giants, two others said the Mets, and one other said “Giants or Dodgers.” So the Dodgers are there! But that’s … 2.5 votes for the Giants, right behind the incumbent Yankees, and 0.5 for LA.
How do the Aaron Judge-Giants rumors affect the Dodgers?
Good thing a big spender like the Yankees is expected to remain out of the high-priced shortstop market, because this now puts a bit more pressure on the Dodgers to re-sign Trea Turner, who is also hitting free agency in November.
Or … was the pressure already there? Again, the Judge-Giants rumors are nothing new. In fact, one could argue they reached their peak after Judge rejected the Yankees’ contract extension and the mini soap opera took hold for the first few weeks of the regular season.
What might actually be a game-changer is the possibility that the Giants could go after Turner in free agency to have him take over for Brandon Crawford when his contract is up after 2023! Why not Judge and Turner?!
The mounting pressure on this front is also a result of the timing. It’s all fast approaching. The postseason is a week away. An early playoff exit could have the Dodgers’ front office reeling a bit, given the numerous other decisions (Cody Bellinger, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney, etc.) that need to be made.
At this point, the hope is the Dodgers have already planned for this doomsday scenario and have a move or series of moves to counter if it’s fully out of their control.