While Cody Bellinger is not the same dominant hitter he once was, he is still an attractive name in free agency.
The former Los Angeles Dodgers player is testing free agency for the first time in his short six-year career, and it is already known that several teams are interested in signing him for the 2023 season.
Scott Boras, Bellinger's agent, told The Athletic that his client is not looking for a multi-year contract. This means that whoever wants Bellinger will have to be willing to pay good money to have him for one season, and then negotiate again.
Bellinger won the NL MVP award in 2019. He did not have a good offensive year in 2022, hitting for .210 with 19 home runs, 68 RBIs and 106 hits. Although he wasn't on fire with the bat, he is still a great center fielder defensively.
Who are the leading candidates to take Bellinger? Pay attention.
San Francisco Giants
We know that the Giants are on the hunt for an important outfielder in free agency, to the point that Aaron Judge himself has been linked to the California team. Cody Bellinger is also an option, in case they cannot sign the reigning American League MVP Award winner.
Considering San Francisco's defense was one of the worst in the league in 2022, Cody Bellinger could give the team a major upgrade in that aspect.
While the Giants will do everything they can to sign Aaron Judge, the former Yankees outfielder is going to ask for an absurd amount of money, so it won't be at all easy for San Francisco to take the AL MVP.
Cody Bellinger represents a pretty decent option, but for a much lower price than Aaron Judge, which would allow the team to go for another outfielder to further strengthen themselves.
The Chicago Cubs have expressed interest in signing Bellinger, and they have money to spend.
With 2022 Gold Glove winner Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki, the Cubs would have one of the strongest outfields in the league if Cody Bellinger decides to join the team.
Pete Crow-Armstrong (20 years old), Alexander Canario (22 years old), and Brennen Davis (23 years old) are among the Cubs' top prospects, all outfielders. With only a one-year contract, Bellinger would under no circumstances be blocking the development of the aforementioned prospects, so his desire not to sign a multi-year deal fits perfectly with the Cubs' wishes.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays have tried to sign Bellinger in the past, and this time they have a great scenario to do so.
While Bellinger is a free agent, the Blue Jays let go of outfielders Bradley Zimmer and Raimel Tapia, so the team is looking for an outfielder for next season.
With the intention of moving Springer to one of the corners, Cody Bellinger would be the center fielder for next season.
Respected journalist Jon Morosi confirmed that the Blue Jays have already contacted Cody Bellinger, so it's just a matter of time before the negotiation reaches a decision.