2. Cody Bellinger
Cody Bellinger is a future piece of this Dodgers team.
This scenario can probably wait the longest, but Cody Bellinger is about to make a ton throughout the arbitration process. He’s due close to $16 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility after earning Super Two status before the start of the 2020 season.
You can expect that number to approach $30 million by the time the third year of arbitration rolls around, and given he’s entering his age-25 season and has already captured Rookie of the Year and MVP honors, why not give him a 10-year extension and line him up with Mookie Betts for the next decade?
Bellinger transitioned to center field this season and was a revelation. Though he didn’t have a great year at the plate in the abbreviated season and didn’t really blow anybody away with his postseason numbers, he came up with clutch hits and tremendous defensive plays that kept the Dodgers’ run alive.
He only has 506 career games under his belt and he’s one of the best all-around players in the game. Fans so often talk about how 10- or 12-year contracts hamstring franchises financially, but not when you’re paying for the best years of a player. Give Belli a long-term lucrative deal that covers him through his age-35 season and that’ll maximize the output and not have anybody complaining about having to pay a player $35 million when they’re nearing 40 years old.
Maybe a 10-year, $250 million contract could work here. Players always want more, but this kind of security at the age of 25 could change the game for Belli.