Cody Bellinger declined his mutual option with the Chicago Cubs, as expected, and is now a free agent. His agent, Scott Boras, is about to shop him around the league and get the highest year/dollar commitment from the most aggressive bidder after Belli won Comeback Player of the Year.
The former Los Angeles Dodgers star, after two-ish horrid seasons (remember, he was pretty not great in the shortened 2020, too) managed to rediscover himself in the Windy City after Andrew Friedman non-tendered him in his final year of arbitration eligibility.
That cause some friction between the two parties, as evidenced by the occurrences shortly thereafter. Bellinger didn't attend the Cubs' start of Spring Training at Camelback Ranch. Boras then called out the Dodgers for cutting him loose, then backtracked once the Dodgers responded. Then, Bellinger'sparticularly long home run trot after sending one over the fence at Dodger Stadium rubbed some fans the wrong way.
Is it possible the Dodgers are stuck seeing more of that in 2024 and beyond? Though Bellinger's market will be expansive, a lot of publications and analysts are linking him to the San Francisco Giants.
MLB Trade Rumors, in particular, has him going to the Giants (with another writer predicting the Yankees) on an insane 12-year, $264 million contract.
Wild MLB Trade Rumors prediction has former Dodger Cody Bellinger back in NL West
Come to think of it ... the Giants are desperate for any star player and they can absorb almost any contract regardless of length and value. This would bring Bellinger's AAV down to $22 million and have him signed through his age-39 season.
Yeah, baseball free agency is patently absurd, which is why the Dodgers are usually removed from the proceedings, especially as it pertains to contracts in excess of eight years. This time around, that'll be reserved for Shohei Ohtani and probably nobody else in LA.
Then again, it would be painful to see Bellinger sign with the Dodgers' most hated rival and remain there for a decade. Are fans nervous he'll make the Dodgers pay for letting him go? Not necessarily, but the fanbase did (and still does) love Bellinger and would prefer not to be his adversary for the entirety of a 162-game season.
Here and there, it's fine. A couple games against a non-divisional NL team or an AL team. Maybe a playoff series if it escalated to that point. But 13 times a year? In a division race? Jockeying for position with a greater possibility of a playoff matchup should the Giants finally spend like they're meant to?
That would be nothing short of a nightmare because fans don't want to root against him, either. And the future Boras commentary? Please spare us.