Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Major Cody Bellinger Update As Cubs Begin Spring Training


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Spring training officially kicks off for the Chicago Cubs next week, with exhibition games beginning on Friday, February 23rd. Pitchers and catchers are the only players required to report to camp this early. But early reports say about 90% of the Cubs’ roster and invitees have already reported to begin their workouts.

Many believe there are still players not yet rostered that will be with the Cubs on Opening Day. One of those yet to sign with a team was with the Cubs last season. Outfielder turned first baseman Cody Bellinger is still a free agent and has not signed with a team.

Bellinger and agent Scott Boras are cutting it close, as we are just under six weeks away from Opening Day. The overwhelming belief is that Bellinger will sign and be with the Cubs on Opening Day to face the defending champion Texas Rangers. But after his performance last season, he also has the attention of other teams.

Bellinger’s Stellar “Prove It” Season And Contract Negotiations

After signing a one-year contract with the Cubs, Bellinger finished tenth in MVP voting, solidifying himself as one of the game’s best players. The 28-year-old batted .307 for the Cubs last season with 26 home runs and 97 runs batted in. He started 84 games in center field but proved his versatility by also starting 59 games at first base.

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So, why has he not been signed to a team yet? Because Major League Baseball is a business. Bellinger and Boras are looking for a larger/longer contract than anyone has offered thus far. Eventually, Boras and a team will meet in the middle, and Bellinger will play baseball. But this stand-off is continuing.

Last year, we heard directly from Bellinger that he would like to play with the Cubs for the foreseeable future. Jed Hoyer, the President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs, also made his desire to retain Bellinger known. Extension talks were reported during last season, but nothing came of them.

Interest From Other Teams

As free agency began, the Cubs knew other teams would be interested in signing Bellinger. Along with the Cubs, the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels, and Toronto Blue Jays were reportedly in the running to sign him. Now, this list has shrunk three months after the opening of the signing period.

Bellinger’s dad, Clay, played three seasons with the Yankees and won two World Series in the Bronx. But after the Yankees traded for young superstar Juan Soto, the need to sign Bellinger became less urgent. The Giants have been checking in on Bellinger’s interest in the Bay Area since the start of free agency. However, they no longer wanted to play the waiting game and pivoted to signing slugger Jorge Soler.

After the Angels lost the biggest star in baseball, Shohei Ohtani, they are looking for another superstar to pair with Mike Trout to keep fans interested. The Blue Jays were also in the Ohtani hunt but lost out. Everyone thought they would desperately push to sign a big name, but now we’re unsure.

Expect Bellinger To Sign Soon As Interest Dwindles

As spring training starts ramping up, so will conversations between teams and Bellinger’s camp. Bellinger will want maximum time to prepare for his 2024 season, and teams will want that time to acclimate him to the roster. With teams starting to pivot to set themselves up for Opening Day, expect the urgency to ramp up to get a deal done.

While the threat of the Angels is still real and there could be a surprise team out there, the Cubs and Bellinger still have mutual interest. They are the favorites to pair up, and we could see that coming sooner rather than later.


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Feb 20, 2024 1:30 pm

Scott Boras never really helps his clients in a sense of getting them to the best fit just about money! Boras also stated he could run his own spring training he has all the facilities and trainers. I wonder if his clients are there right now staying in shape? LOL

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