Cody Bellinger is now a free agent because the Los Angeles Dodgers did not offer him a contract, and it looks that the organization has its sights set on one particular free agency outfielder to replace him.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Los Angeles Dodgers “will make a push for Aaron Judge.”

The exits of Bellinger, Craig Kimbrel, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney, David Price, Trea Turner, and Justin Turner have created enough financial flexibility for the Dodgers to make a run at Judge. The Dodgers have $100 million less in payroll obligations as a result of these moves.

As the current Most Valuable Player of the American League, Judge should be able to command a contract worth more than $300 million. According to a report by Jeff Passan of ESPN, general managers who were polled earlier this month at meetings anticipated that his contract would be “in the vicinity of eight years and $320 million.” He made the observation that the asking price might go even higher if the Dodgers were involved.

Judge had a remarkable year in 2022, when he hit 62 home runs and played in 157 games, which set a record for the most home runs ever hit in the American League. In addition to that, he drove in 131 runs and had a batting line of.311/.425/.686.

The Dodgers have never been hesitant to sign superstar-level talent. They obtained the services of ace outfielder Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox in a trade and have agreed to pay him a total of $365 million over the course of 12 years beginning in June 2020.

More recently, in June of 2022, Los Angeles made a deal with star first baseman Freddie Freeman that was worth $162 million over the course of six years. In addition, there have been rumors that the Dodgers are interested in signing free agent pitcher Justin Verlander, who is expected to earn a hefty deal this offseason.

Judge is going to be pursued by the Dodgers, but the Yankees have made it clear that they intend to make a competitive offer to him in the event that they want to keep his talents in the Bronx. In the beginning of this month, Hal Steinbrenner, the owner of the Yankees, stated to Meredith Marakovits of the YES Network that the team will do whatever it takes in order to re-sign him.

Steinbrenner continued by saying that the Yankees would take into consideration designating Judge a captain if he re-signed with the team. Since Derek Jeter’s departure in 2014, the club has been without a leader in the captain’s role.

However, Judge will receive interest from a number of teams in addition to the Yankees and the Dodgers; therefore, it is impossible to predict where he will end up at this point.

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