With major money coming off the books this offseason – and several other cost-cutting moves on the table, including a potential non-tender of Cody Bellinger – the Los Angeles Dodgers are poised to be a major force this offseason, potentially putting them on a collision course with the Cubs, who are eyeing big moves of their own.
While there’s been speculation Chicago could be a factor in the Aaron Judge sweepstakes, I personally don’t see that coming to fruition. However, a new report has the Dodgers interested in the slugging outfielder, who is ready to cash in on a history-making 2022 season that saw him set the AL record with 62 home runs.
"According to sources, the Dodgers could become serious players in this offseason’s Aaron Judge sweepstakes, a move that would potentially result in a position change for Betts, a six-time All-Star outfielder."
Betts came to Los Angeles in Feb. 2020 via trade from Boston and immediately inked a massive 12-year, $365 million extension with the Dodgers. This year, he played a key role for Dave Roberts’ team, racking up 6.4 bWAR and the sixth All-Star selection of his career. He’s dabbled in the infield in the past, so the idea of him moving off right field for Judge isn’t all that far-fetched.
Cubs, Dodgers both look poised to spend major dollars this offseason
As far as the Cubs are concerned, this rumor is a sign the Dodgers aren’t resting on the laurels of their 111-win 2022 season. After all, despite all that regular season success, LA made a prompt exit in the postseason, falling well short of the end goal Roberts promised this spring: another World Series championship.
One of the Dodgers’ key departures, shortstop Trea Turner, is a guy the Cubs are certainly doing their homework on before the offseason begins. He’s a headliner in this year’s free agent class that’s dripping with top-tier shortstops and would be a perfect fit on the North Side alongside Nico Hoerner.
With needs up the middle, at first base, center field and on the pitching staff, Chicago has a lengthy to-do list this winter. Knowing the Dodgers are already circling names like Judge on their offseason shopping list is telling – and sets these two iconic franchises up on a potential collision course in a war of major market players in the months to come.