“Comeback Player of the Year No. 1…”
Cody Bellinger (28, Chicago Cubs) had a spectacular comeback this year. In 130 games, he batted .307 with 153 hits in 499 at-bats, 26 home runs, 97 RBI, 95 runs scored, and an OPS of .881. It was his best performance since winning the National League MVP in 2019 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, when he hit .305 with 47 homers, 115 RBIs, and a 1.035 OPS.
Bellinger has struggled significantly over the past two years, batting .165 with 10 homers and 36 RBIs and a .542 OPS in 2020 and .210 with 19 homers and 68 RBIs and a .654 OPS in 2021. The Dodgers were no longer interested in keeping Bellinger, who was eligible for salary arbitration, and released him.
Bellinger signed a one-year deal with the Cubs this year. He’ll make $17.5 million this season, with a $12.5 million option for next year. With his resurgence this year, there is no reason for Bellinger to exercise the $12.5 million option next year.
The American media has been quick to jump on Bellinger’s free agency announcement. While Major League Baseball is in the midst of the postseason, there are trickles of free agency talk. Bellinger is everywhere in the speculation. The Athletic published a look back at the postseason for teams that were eliminated from the postseason on Tuesday, with special mention of position players who performed well.
In the Cubs’ paragraph, Bellinger was mentioned. The Athletic called him “the No. 1 comeback player of the year.” In fact, Major League Baseball selects a comeback player of the year in both leagues every year, and Bellinger is the one in the National League this year. The story is solid.
The Athletic believes Bellinger’s chances of staying with the Cubs are slim. “Bellinger, Marcus Stroman and Jaime Candelario are all expected to hit the market. They’re going to struggle in free agency. They are in a good position to contend again in 2024, but they need to do well this offseason.”안전놀이터
Bleacher Report also reported on July 7 that Bellinger would leave the Cubs. Leaving an environment where there are not many outfielders on the market in free agency, it is believed that the Cubs will not be aggressive in re-signing Bellinger. “The Cubs will give up on Bellinger regardless of his potential,” the source said.
There aren’t many outfielders in the upcoming free agency class, so much so that Jung-Hoo Lee (Kiermaier) is categorized as the next class after Bellinger. He’s still 28 years old and a 30-homer outfielder. All in all, it looks like a bounce-back winter for Bellinger after the pain of being released by the Dodgers a year ago.