Chicago Cubs Sign Cody Bellinger

by Connor Charbat
Chicago Cubs Sign Cody Bellinger

The Chicago Cubs signed Cody Bellinger to a 1-year contract worth $17.5 million. According to his agent, Scott Boras, Bellinger received several multi-year offers from teams around the league, but would not comment on who those offers were from.

Through some digging, the Astros and Blue Jays are two teams rumored to have reached out to Bellinger in recent days, but take that for what you will.

While multi-year offers clearly offer more security and comfort, Bellinger seems set on resetting his value with a 1-year deal.

Don't forget, Bellinger was the 2017 rookie of the year along with the 2019 NL MVP. At 27 years old, there's definitely some gas left in his tank, and he seems set on proving it. The Cubs have signed quite the bounce-back candidate for the 2023 MLB season.

Chicago Cubs Sign Cody Bellinger

Cody Bellinger with the Los Angeles Dodgers

Debuting in 2017, Bellinger came on the scene in an electric fashion. He slashed .267/.352/.581 with 39 home runs, 97 RBIs, and a rock solid 138 wRC+.

However, he didn't stop there. With a bit of an off year (in Bellinger terms) in 2018, Bellinger returned in 2019 to put up his best season to date. Playing in 156 games, he slashed .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs, 115 RBIs, and a 161 wRC+.

That performance in 2019 netted him the NL MVP, a Gold Glove, and a Silver Slugger.

Unfortunately, that's where things went off the rails. Since 2019, Bellinger has yet to hit more than 20 home runs in a season along with a combined three-year average of .203. Not to mention, he hit the injured list three times in '21. This has caused his value to fall tremendously.

Cody Bellinger's Fantasy Impact with The Chicago Cubs

While Bellinger's impact on the Cubs could turn out to be significant, I think it's best to wait and see with him before I predict anything crazy. Give him a month or two in Chicago before jumping to any conclusions. The talent is there, but there's some digging to do to find it.

Based on the current Cubs lineup, which I project will add another name or two before April, I could see Bellinger slotting himself in the cleanup spot OR in the 5-hole. He has the power to help out this seemingly average lineup, but consistency and trust are something to monitor. He has a lot to prove.

There isn't much to get excited about when looking at the Cubs lineup as it stands today, so any immediate Fantasy upgrades for any current Cubs player need to be put on hold.

Cody Bellinger's Departure Impact on the Dodgers

Letting a gold glove defensive talent go will hurt the Dodgers as it stands right now, but Dave Roberts has already been quoted saying that the team is actively pursuing a quality CF. Don't worry, they will get one.

On the other hand, could James Outman fill the void in the interim? Maybe. Well, probably not. However, this Dodgers lineup is more than capable of filling that void.

Finding a quality CF replacement should not be an issue whatsoever for the Dodgers, and this is something that will more than likely happen very soon. Who wouldn't want to play CF in LA?

The issue becomes getting solid offensive production in that CF spot. The CF market is stretched pretty thin right now, but if LA could make it work with Bellinger in 2022, a Kevin Kiermaier or Andrew Benintendi addition could help more than hurt.

Prospect-wise, I don't see LA making a call-up to fill this spot. While they have a few prospects worthy of a mention - Diego Cartaya, Bobby Miller, and Miguel Vargas, they don't seem to have many OF prospects to help in the immediate future.

Andy Pages could be seen as something promising in the future, but with Pages currently in High-A, Outman seems to be their only shot within the organization at this time.

Check out where Dave Eddy ranks the Dodgers prospects in his 2023 Dynasty Baseball Rankings!

Final Thoughts on Cody Bellinger

Don't get me wrong, Bellinger has the skill. But, can he dig deep enough to find it in a timely fashion? That remains to be seen. His defensive skill will absolutely do no harm, but this Cubs lineup needs to produce offensively to have a shot in the NL Central. Even if Bellinger comes around, the Cubs frankly have a few more issues to solve.

All in all, I love the Chicago Cubs taking this one-year gamble on a former MVP. If it doesn't work out, well, so what? It's a one-year deal and this team isn't on anyone's World Series card for 2023 anyways. Could Bellinger hit .235 with 30 bombs? Absolutely. Could he bat .210 with 19 long balls? You bet.

For a grade on this signing for the Cubs, I give it a B. You have to give him a chance.


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