Rockies Among Teams Interested In Cody Bellinger

The Rockies are among the many rising variety of groups with some curiosity within the just lately non-tendered outfielder Cody Bellinger, reviews Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. The 2017 NL Rookie of the Year and 2019 NL MVP has additionally been tied to the Blue Jays and Giants up to now few days.

While Bellinger, who has hit simply .193/.256/.355 over the previous two seasons after present process shoulder surgical procedure in 2020, is an apparent reclamation challenge at this level, he is additionally a reasonably wise match for the Rockies. Colorado middle fielders had been among the many least-productive teams in all of MLB in 2022, slashing .240/.298/.334. The ensuing 65 wRC+ was the second-worst mark of any staff’s middle discipline group. Bellinger, in fact, has been even worse than that tepid output in latest seasons, however any staff signing him might be rolling the cube on a return to kind — if not all the best way again to his MVP-caliber numbers then at the very least to a once-again productive supply of energy.

The Rockies have a fairly clear gap in middle discipline, the place a mix of Yonathan Daza and Randal Grichuk can be slated to play as issues at present stand. Grichuk posted a .259/.299/.425 (88 wRC+) batting line in 2022, falling effectively shy of the expectations the Rockies had when buying him from the Blue Jays.

Daza makes tons of contact and even topped a .300 batting common in 2022, however his .301/.349/.384 slash additionally attracts consideration to his full dearth of energy; Daza has simply 4 homers in 844 Major League plate appearances, so any regression within the .347 BABIP he is loved over the previous two seasons may lead to much more problematic bottom-line numbers. Defensively, each Grichuk and Daza turned in sub-par marks for his or her glovework in middle discipline.

Bellinger, for all his warts on the plate over the previous two seasons, has maintained at the very least common defensive marks (effectively above-average, per Statcast) for his work in middle discipline and offered worth on the basepaths. He’d additionally give some wanted stability to a lineup that at present skews very closely in direction of the appropriate aspect of the plate. Third baseman Ryan McMahon and proper fielder/designated hitter Charlie Blackmon are the one two lefties assured of any taking part in time. Corner prospects Michael Toglia (switch-hitter) and Nolan Jones (lefty), the latter of whom was just lately acquired in a commerce with the Guardians, may additionally add some stability in the event that they play their means into the combination.

All groups with curiosity in Bellinger must decide simply how massive a wager they really feel comfy putting on his skill to rebound. The Dodgers clearly weren’t comfy together with his potential arbitration worth — MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected an $18.1MM wage — however Bellinger will nonetheless command a hefty wage if sufficient groups be a part of the bidding. Agent Scott Boras just lately instructed Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that Bellinger is more likely to signal a one-year deal, and the brevity of that time period may additionally serve to drive up the eventual worth level. (Teams are sometimes much more keen to make aggressive bids on one-year offers than on multi-year preparations.)

The query of how excessive to bid is a very pertinent one for a Rockies staff that’s already projected to shatter its earlier franchise report — even with only one small signing on the docket to this point this winter. The Rockies’ earlier report for Opening Day payroll got here in 2019, after they spent $145.3MM. Roster Resource’s Jason Martinez tasks that they are already as much as $158.5MM. The Rockies must spend some cash this offseason in the event that they’re to have any hope of enhancing on one other poor displaying in 2022. Still, it is honest to wonder if one of the best use of their presumably restricted assets might be to place down an eight-figure supply on a bounceback candidate, nevertheless excessive the ceiling could also be.

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