As expected, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Dodgers do not plan to tender Cody Bellinger a contract ahead of Friday’s 7pm CT deadline. The former Rookie of the Year and MVP has dropped off dramatically since 2020 and his offense has basically disappeared over the past two seasons, but he plays excellent defense and several teams will surely covet his potential.
The Dodgers plan to non-tender outfielder Cody Bellinger, making him a free agent, source tells @TheAthletic. Team could still re-sign him for less than his projected arbitration salary in the $18M range.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 18, 2022
The Cubs are among those teams and Bellinger has been on their radar as they seek both center field help and lefty power. They may be a good fit for a guy who could benefit from a change of scenery but isn’t a safe enough bet for a win-now team. While the Cubs should absolutely be trying to be competitive immediately, they aren’t at the point where they have to hit on all their signings.
Bellinger is a Scott Boras client and could be prioritizing the right opportunity with a pillow contract that allows him to rebuild his value. The Cubs are as good as any team in that regard because they’ve got the need and can give Bellinger enough leeway to try to figure things out at the plate. I won’t be surprised if something gets done as early as this weekend, whether it’s with the Cubs or another team.