The MLB off-season has been slower than in recent years. Many teams essentially had to wait for Shohei Ohtani to decide to get started with their offseason plans.
But after the Los Angeles Dodgers added multiple high-level players for over $1 billion, baseball players are looking for massive contracts that other teams aren’t so inclined to pay.
One of those players is Cody Bellinger. Bellinger won the MVP in 2019 with the Dodgers but fell off after a career year where he hit .239,165, and .210 in his final three seasons with Los Angeles.
However, when Bellinger moved on to a different team, he produced at high level again, hitting .307 with 26 home runs and 97 RBIs in 130 games with the Chicago Cubs.
Bellinger was on a one-year, prove-it deal. He sure proved that he was back. Bellinger is still in his prime and isn’t even 30 years old yet. But after a one-year deal, he’ll want to earn a contract with multiple years moving forward.
No team has bit yet.
The Cubs will likely retain Bellinger. After all, he’s the perfect fit for an up-and-coming roster that needs power from the left side.
It’s been said that Bellinger is looking for a $250 million offer. But no team other than the Los Angeles Dodgers has shelled out that kind of money this year. Chicago doesn’t want to pay Bellinger that much off one big season. They’re probably a bit afraid that he could perform like he did in his final three seasons with Los Angeles after his MVP season.
With limited interest received, despite the Cubs balking at his demands, Chicago is likely still the place for him.
If the Cubs don’t make an offer, Bellinger will have to accept playing for another team.
Take a look at Cody Bellinger next team odds below.
|Toronto Blue Jays
|San Francisco Giants
|New York Yankees
|New York Mets
|San Diego Padres
|Los Angeles Dodgers
What Bellinger Brings To The Table
Bellinger hasn’t been the healthiest baseball player. He’ll likely sit out 30-40 games again this season. But with 499 at-bats with the Cubs last season, he added 153 hits with 26 home runs and nearly 100 RBIs. He also only struck out 87 times after striking out 150 times the year prior with the Dodgers.
Bellinger’s ability to put the ball in play really helped him in a contract year. He had an OBP of .356, which was the second-best number of his career, just trailing his MVP season. He also had a .525 slugging percentage and a WAR of 4.4.
In his last three seasons with the Dodgers, Bellinger had a WAR of 1.4, -1.5, and 1.2, respectively.
Bellinger certainly has power. However, he also stole 20 bases, which was the most he had stolen in a season in his career. Bellinger still doesn’t walk at a high rate, which is agonizing, but he’s a great fielder and a powerful left-handed bat who is seeing the ball much better now.
If Not Chicago, Where?
The Philadelphia Phillies are an exciting spot for Cody Bellinger. Bellinger would likely slot ahead of Bryce Harper and make more right-handed pitchers scared.
The Phillies already have a lot of left-handed bats in their day-to-day lineup. However, most starters in the league are right-handed, giving the Philadelphia lineup a lot of potential.
Even against lefties, Bellinger didn’t perform all that badly. You can give him a day or two off against a lefty in a day game. But ultimately, any right-handed pitcher would fear pitching against Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, and all the other lefties in the Phillies’ lineup.
You can also play Bellinger in all three outfield positions and consider putting Bellinger at first base if needed.
The Phillies didn’t make any major moves this offseason. But they’ve been close to a World Series over the last few years. Bellinger could be the difference maker.
Why The Blue Jays Are Favorites
Many people around the league believe the Bellinger will re-sign with the Chicago Cubs. But the Toronto Blue Jays are said to be lurking if the Cubs and Bellinger can’t agree on a deal.
Bellinger can’t find a deal exceeding $200 million, which he feels he’s worth. However, many teams aren’t interested, knowing that he had three abysmal seasons before his breakout last season.
While he looked better last season, Bellinger hit 47 home runs in his MVP season in 2019, so there’s just a lot of inconsistency with Bellinger. Many teams don’t want to risk paying a lot of money and years for a guy with his inconsistency.
However, the Blue Jays would likely be the first team to bite as we approach Spring Training soon. The Blue Jays already have Daulton Varsho, George Springer, and Kevin Kiermaier as their three outfielders but could use a fourth for the DH role. His bat would be much more exciting than Kiermaier’s.
The Mariners Are a Fun Long Shot
Seattle could really use some help in their lineup. They’ve been connected to multiple power bats and will consider signing Bellinger. However, it’s doubtful that the Mariners give Bellinger more than a year or two worth of a contract.
There are still many MLB players that haven’t been paid yet. Soon, the winter weather will turn into sunny MLB weather, and we’ll be talking about the MLB standings. If we had to guess, Cody Bellinger will end up with the Cubs. But if he doesn’t, the Cody Bellinger next team odds that have potential include the Blue Jays, Phillies, and Mariners.