The stove is heating up as the offseason has begun for 28 of the 30 MLB teams. Aaron Judge, coming off a year in which he set the American League home run record, is arguably the biggest free agent this winter. He’ll most likely get the largest contract, and may be the biggest domino that sets off the rest of the market.
On Monday, it was reported that the Dodgers were a ‘top-five candidate’ for Judge, and that they could easily rework the defense to allow Judge and Mookie Betts to play together.
However, among those top five were the Dodgers’ biggest rival, the San Francisco Giants. And the Giants are reportedly willing to spend just about anything to get their top target.
“Judge is at the top of the Giants list and they won’t be underbid,” a person with knowledge of the Giants’ thinking said. “If they miss out, it won’t be because of money.”
However, Judge isn’t the only guy on the Giants’ radar. That same person said the Giants are looking to sign two more top free agents, as a way to entice Judge to come to the Bay. The Giants are coming off a disappointing season, and know they have to spend to compete with the powerhouses in their division.
“They need a draw with the Dodgers and Padres in their division spending big money on big names,” the person said. “I know the Giants also are feeling pressure with the Warriors’ basketball team doing so well and spending big in the same market.”
The Giants reloading with Judge and two other top-end free agents would turn the NL West into an absolute gauntlet, but it should also push the Dodgers to make some splashy moves of their own. This offseason has a pretty good chance to be wild, and the Dodgers should be firmly in the mix on just about everyone.