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Cody Bellinger Reportedly Seeking $200MM Or More In Free Agency

Latest On Cody Bellinger's Market

With superstar slugger Shohei Ohtani now off the board after signing on with the Dodgers, the market has seemingly begun to come into focus for center fielder Cody Bellinger, the clear #2 position player on the free agent market this offseason. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, Bellinger and agent Scott Boras are seeking “$200MM plus” in contract talks this winter.

That Bellinger is in position to even approach that figure is nothing short of incredible given the brutal fashion his time in LA came to an end. The outfielder dealt with shoulder, rib, and leg injuries throughout the 2021 season and struggled badly when he managed to take the field that season, posting an abysmal .165/.240/.302 slash line across 350 trips to the plate that season. While he was able to avoid the injured list in 2022, the diminished results lingered as he slashed just .210/.265/.389, prompting the Dodgers to non-tender him last offseason.

Not long after being non-tendered, Bellinger took a one-year deal with the Cubs and entered the 2023 campaign hoping to rebuild his value ahead of another trip to the open market after the season. He certainly succeeded in that effort, slashing .307/.356/.525 while earning a top ten finish in NL MVP voting and the second Silver Slugger award of his career. While this new-look Bellinger came with potential red flags regarding his quality of contact in 2023, MLBTR nonetheless projected him for a twelve-year, $264MM deal in our annual Top 50 MLB free agents list, the second-highest projected guarantee after Ohtani.

Since then, many of Bellinger’s potential suitors on the free agent market have gone in other directions. The Yankees landed a trio of left-handed hitting outfielders in Juan Soto, Trent Grisham, and Alex Verdugo on the trade market, seemingly leaving no room for Bellinger on their roster. Meanwhile, the Giants recently landed outfielder Jung Hoo Lee on a six-year, $113MM contract. While it’s certainly feasible that San Francisco could have the resources available to land Bellinger as well, between the club’s existing outfield logjam and need for pitching, it seems more likely that the club would pursue top arms like Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Blake Snell, and Shota Imanaga than double up on talent in center field with a Bellinger signing.

That’s not to say that Bellinger’s market is completely devoid of suitors, of course. The Blue Jays haven’t been shy about their pursuit of a top-of-the-market lefty slugger…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Toronto Blue Jays – MLB Trade Rumors…