Los Angeles Dodgers fans might not have realized, but Cody Bellinger did not make the trip to Camelback Ranch this past Sunday when LA hosted the Chicago Cubs in their first weekend of Spring Training games.
Wonder why that was ... but we're not here to speculate or rehash what happened earlier in the offseason. Bellinger's agent, Scott Boras, is here to do that!
Unlike Bellinger, who spent four days dodging the Los Angeles media in Arizona, Boras spoke to reporters and didn't hold back when talking about the Dodgers' decision to non-tender their former MVP in November.
Bellinger probably could've used a low-stakes Spring Training game to lessen the blow and/or dull the pain for what's to come at the onset of the 2023 season. The Dodgers will host the Cubs from April 14-16 and then will head to Chicago for a four-game set from April 20-23.
Probably not going to be able to escape the media and have Boras do the talking with those seven games coming across 10 days.
Scott Boras calls out Dodgers for Cody Bellinger non-tender decision
Here's what Boras told Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times (subscription required) over the weekend:
"The truth of it is until he was non-tendered, I really did not really have a lot of conversations with the Dodgers because I felt it was rather a matter of fact that he would continue with them because they had rights over him. I had no idea that they would non-tender him ... The marketplace was very different as to what the Dodgers thought Cody’s value was."- Scott Boras via the LA Times
The decision was no doubt one of the more difficult ones fans have seen in recent memory. Bellinger is a former Rookie of the Year and MVP ... but was slated to make ~$19 million after registering a 1.2 bWAR (0.4 per year!) since the start of the 2020 season. It's even understandable for one of the richest organizations in the sport to pass on paying that price for that production (which also showed no signs of improving whatsoever over that span).
Bellinger ended up signing a one-year, $17.5 million deal with the Cubs after he was cut loose (he'll make $12.5 million in 2023 and has a $25 million option with a $5 million buyout for 2024). That's less than what his arbitration figure was supposed to be, so when Boras says "the marketplace was very different as to what the Dodgers thought Cody's value was," we're not sure what he's talking about. Actually, we do, he's just delivering the classic Agent Speak.
It's not even that the Dodgers were improperly valuing Bellinger, either. They just didn't want to pay another gigantic price tag for a regressing player that clearly didn't align with their immediate plans. And it's not like they were signing Bellinger to an extension, either, because he would've needed the bounce back of all bounce backs to even make that a remote possibility.
Bellinger will always be a Dodgers legend and a fan favorite, but maybe it's time everyone (and Boras) moves on from what happened four months ago.