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Dodgers News: LA Looking to Sign an Outfielder Following Loss of Bellinger

One of the “highlights” of the Winter Meetings is that nearly every manager shows up for a scrum with the media, and Tuesday afternoon it Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts’ turn. Coincidentally, Doc’s session came shortly after it was announced that center-fielder Cody Bellinger has reached an agreement with the Cubs.

With Bellinger’s departure — which has seemed likely for a while, so it didn’t exactly catch Roberts off guard — the manager was asked if L.A. needs to add an outfielder this offseason.



“Yeah, we’re going to add an outfielder. … I would say somebody that can manage center field is probably a top priority, yeah.”

The question becomes: Who? Bellinger is the first center-fielder to drop off the free-agent board this offseason, but the list wasn’t exactly lengthy or distinguished to start with. With Bellinger getting $17.5 million, you’d have to think Brandon Nimmo will get even more than that — his ceiling isn’t nearly as high as Belli’s, but he has the advantage of having actually been good the last two years.

Beyond Nimmo, things drop drastically. When sorting by WAR over the past two years, the next two center-fielders on the list are Kevin Kiermaier and Rafael Ortega. Ortega, of course, is who the Cubs just replaced with Bellinger, and we have some bad news about his defense:

Ortega played 409 innings in center in 2022 and put up a -3 DRS, which would put him around -10 over a full season.

Realistically, if the Dodgers go through free agency, it’s either Nimmo or a defense-first CF. Looking at next year’s free agents to determine who might be available in a trade, we have just Harrison Bader, Kiké Hernandez, and Michael A. Taylor.

So yes, the Dodgers are on the prowl for a center-fielder. But we have no idea who that’s going to be.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. He's been blogging about baseball and the Dodgers 2004 and doing it professionally since 2015. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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10 Comments

  1. Probably Thompson / Outman in LF and/or CF. Taylor might play more 2B in a platoon with Busch, some SS in a possible platoon with Lux, and a little 3B with Muncy

  2. Trade for Bryan Reynolds from the Pirates. He requested for a trade and wants to play for a winner. 27 yr. old switch hitting center fielder with decent power, all-star, and former teammate of Buehler at Vanderbilt.

  3. Regardless of how highly regarded the next flow of young Dodgers are, they still need, at least, another solid player added to the line up. New young players are fine, but until they are proven assets, that is what they remain —- “highly regarded”. Right now, the Dodgers have at least four positions to fill … and that does not include pitchers.

  4. Judge resigned with the Yankees, so our next best option is trading for Bryan Reynolds. He requested to be traded, and we have enough prospects to trade to Pittsburgh to get him.

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