Cody Bellinger free agent fits ranked

Three years in the past, it positive appeared like, come the top of subsequent season, there can be no greater free agent on the planet than Cody Bellinger. In 2019, Bellinger had a face-melter of a season, placing up a 1.035 OPS, taking part in a wonderful middle subject (in addition to many different positions) and successful the National League MVP … all in his age-23 season. It seemed like he was going to be a Dodgers Hall of Famer sooner or later.

But so much has occurred since that 2019 season. Bellinger was good within the shortened 2020 season moderately than nice, and, fairly famously, separated his shoulder whereas celebrating a large NLCS Game 7 homer. That led to 2 seasons of shoulder issues and a stunning collapse in manufacturing: In 2021, his OPS was practically half of what it was in 2019. That led to the Dodgers deciding to not tender Bellinger a contract final week versus presumably paying him near $20 million in his closing 12 months of wage arbitration, making him a free agent proper when he is presupposed to be in his prime.

Bellinger’s agent, Scott Boras, has stated he needs Bellinger to signal a one-year, make-good deal, to indicate he is totally wholesome and again to his outdated self, earlier than theoretically signing a much bigger deal subsequent offseason. That places a tones of groups on the desk as potential bidders for his providers. Although a multi-year deal most likely is not off the desk, both.

So, let’s rank ’em! Here are your most certainly Bellinger suitors, in what’s quietly one of the vital intriguing free agent sweepstakes of this complete offseason.

1. Blue Jays
Ever since they traded Teoscar Hernández to the Mariners, most of baseball has been ready for the Blue Jays to usher in one other outfielder. While Brandon Nimmo has been the recent rumor, Bellinger makes a ton of sense too. He, like Nimmo, would transfer George Springer out of middle subject, and he is a left-handed hitter for a group that is closely right-handed. And would not his swing seem like one that may be good for launching moon pictures deep into the Canadian night time? If the Blue Jays do not get Nimmo, Bellinger is an apparent subsequent step.

2. Giants
Clearly, Aaron Judge is the primary precedence. But if he finally ends up staying with the Yankees (or signing elsewhere), Bellinger is not a nasty second possibility. He’s a greater middle fielder than something they’ve now, he’d absolutely ship loads of baseballs into McCovey Cove and placing him in a Giants uniform is a good way to bother Dodgers followers. All advised: Even in the event that they get Judge, they need to go after Bellinger too. They want offense: If he is near what he was, he is an on the spot improve.

3. Rangers
Well, we all know he likes hitting at Globe Life Field: That is the place he hit the homer that led to the dislocated shoulder, in spite of everything. But the Rangers would like to have him too, as a big-name, one-time MVP who can be an improve in middle subject and would add a bat to a lineup that would most likely use three or 4 extra.

4. Cubs
First off, the Bleacher Creatures would completely love him at Wrigley. But that is about greater than aesthetic match. The Cubs appear to have some cash to spend however may wish to wait one other 12 months or two to make a splash on a free agent hitter. They even have a transparent want for hitting. Bellinger may play middle subject — or first base, actually — and bat in the midst of the order, giving him each alternative to rebuild his worth round baseball in one of the vital high-profile conditions within the sport. And the Cubs make sense as a multi-year play too, if Bellinger’s up for that. Seriously, he’d look so nice in that uniform.

5. Mets
The Mets is likely to be loath to provide him too a few years, however as a one-year deal, you’d need to assume they may outbid nearly anyone. He may probably change Nimmo in middle subject (if he indicators elsewhere), however extra to the purpose, he’d present them with some pop that they sorely want. And if it goes in addition to some assume it would, the Mets can be extraordinarily nicely positioned to provide him the long-term deal he needs… possibly even earlier than the season is over.

6. White Sox
They may wish to simply let their No. 2 prospect, Oscar Colas, take up a spot within the outfield with Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez, but when they don’t seem to be prepared to try this, Bellinger would make a pleasant one-year bridge — to not point out that he’d add some depth, particularly since Robert and Jiménez have had a bent to get injured.

7. Cardinals
After dealing Harrison Bader on the Trade Deadline final 12 months, the Cardinals haven’t got an apparent middle fielder. Dylan Carlson is the seemingly Opening Day starter proper now, and whereas the Cardinals aren’t seemingly to surrender on him simply but, their outfield is not practically as settled as their infield proper now. They are additionally cautious of long-term offers, which may hold them within the operating. Still, although: This can be a bit of out of character for the Cardinals, and for a hitter who needs to indicate he can smash a whole lot of homers, Busch Stadium is a troublesome place to pad these slugging numbers.

8. Red Sox
It’s form of unclear what the Red Sox are going to do in any respect this offseason, but when they gear up for an AL East run, Bellinger can be a pleasant short-term answer to their middle subject subject. Also, it is a transfer very a lot of a latest Red Sox classic: A headline-maker that most likely would not transfer the needle all that a lot.

9. Dodgers
It would not appear solely off the desk, does it? Bellinger may not be desirous to return to a group that simply non-tendered him, but when the market is not as massive as we predict it is likely to be for him, possibly the Dodgers give him yet another 12 months at a lower cost than what he would have gotten in arbitration. It looks like a skinny likelihood, although.

Other potential potentialities: Astros, Marlins, Padres, Rays, Rockies

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