Chicago Cubs are the favorites to land Cody Bellinger: report originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
It’s been crickets this MLB offseason from the North Side.
Outside of shocking the baseball world by hiring Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell to a record-setting deal, the Cubs haven’t done anything else this offseason. But that doesn’t mean they won’t sooner or later.
One MLB insider believes they’re the favorite to retain Cody Bellinger, the lefty center fielder who rejuvenated his career with the Cubs last season.
“I think the favorite right now has to be the Cubs,” Jon Heyman said on a Bleacher Report livestream. “We’re gonna rule out the Yankees. The [Blue] Jays have done some stuff, so you know. I still think they could do it, possibly. I still think the Giants could do it, possibly. He could help a number of teams. He could help Seattle [Marinerse], he could help the [Los Angeles] Angels, he could help the [New York] Mets.”
Several teams eliminated themselves from the Bellinger sweepstakes, in theory. The Yankees trade to acquire Juan Soto essentially eliminated them from the mix. Some would begin to think the Blue Jays signing outfielder Kevin Kiermaier takes them out of the race for Bellinger. As Heyman said, they could still be in the mix, however.
Bellinger isn’t narrow-minded this offseason. His agent, Scott Boras, told the media at the MLB Winter Meetings Bellinger is listening to all offers. There aren’t any teams crossed off his list.
“Our platform is Cody’s let us know that he’s listening to everyone involved, and there are no exclusions,” Boras said.
As aforementioned, the Cubs have yet to make a move. They appeared to be all in on the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes. Unfortunately, he landed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on an unprecedented deal; it’s one so large and complex it’s impossible to blame the Cubs for missing on him.
Nevertheless, they’ve been connected to several names. Heyman mentioned first baseman Rhys Hoskins and third baseman Matt Chapman as options to solidify a dangerously defensive infield. But Bellinger, going off Heyman’s report, appears to be a priority at this point in an unusually quiet offseason.
The Cubs have been building their roster intensely since last season. They went into the offseason with their eyes set on the grand prize but fell short. To think the Cubs won’t make a splash this offseason would be naive.
But they haven’t put pen to paper yet. Soon, Heyman insists, they will.
“To me, the Cubs haven’t…