Dodgers swipe hot-swinging lefty from Yankees following Aaron Judge injury

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Dodgers, in need of depth at the moment due to injuries and some poor play, managed to capitalize off of poor timing for the New York Yankees, who were attempting to stash a big-swinging lefty at Triple-A thanks to their own injury issues.

When the Yankees signed Kole Calhoun in late April, they knew a decision would eventually have to be made on his future. He wouldn't be able to remain at Triple-A forever as a luxury for them to utilize at their leisure.

Coincidentally, that deadline was this past weekend. All seemed to be lining up for New York, too. Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson were returning. June 1 was Calhoun's opt-out date, and the Yankees had 72 hours to add him to the MLB roster or else he'd become a free agent.

Again, there was no reason to use a roster spot on him. The Yankees had just gotten reinforcements. Calhoun slugging away at Triple-A was a promising sign, but there was no guarantee he'd be better than the options currently available.

But then Aaron Judge went down with a toe injury and reliever Ryan Weber went down with an elbow injury over the weekend, right after the deadline to add Calhoun had passed. And the Dodgers wasted no time pouncing, signing Calhoun (and Mike Montgomery) to a minor-league deal on Tuesday.

Dodgers swipe Kole Calhoun from Yankees after Aaron Judge injury

Calhoun had a poor showing with the Texas Rangers in 2022, but has apparently been working on his swing mechanics that revealed considerable improvement over his 23 games at Triple-A with New York.

The slugger slashed .281/.391/.528 with 24 runs scored, 4 homers and 18 RBI. At the time of his opt-out deadline, it was speculated there'd be a decent amount of interest in Calhoun, should he hit the open market. Being that he's already at Triple-A Oklahoma City, it appears that prediction was correct.

The Dodgers also added pitcher Mike Montgomery, who hasn't been in MLB since 2020, when he logged just three games with the Royals, The former World Series champ with the Chicago Cubs specialized in a swingman bullpen role, often starting games and providing multi-inning relief appearances.

This has to be for minor-league depth purposes as the Dodgers continue to bring up their younger arms, because Montgomery's most recent body of work featured poor stints at Triple-A with both the Yankees and Mets in 2021 and 2022. He's yet to pitch in 2023.

Anyway, look for Calhoun to potentially reach the majors, especially if Jonny DeLuca doesn't make a quick impression and if David Peralta continues to struggle.