Signing Cody Bellinger would be a big acquisition

Photo credit:MLB Photos - Getty Images
Brennan Delaney
4 months ago
Cody Bellinger isn’t just some consolation prize.
Is he Shohei Ohtani? Absolutely not. However, Bellinger is still a very good player that fills a Blue Jay need, probably even more than Ohtani for the 2024 season.
Everyone knows Bellinger’s story, but here’s a quick refresher. He burst onto the scene in 2017, slashing .267/.352/.581 with 39 home runs for a 138 wRC+ and 3.9 fWAR to win the National League Rookie of the Year. Two seasons later, he slashed .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs in 660 plate appearances for a 161 wRC+, narrowly edging out Christian Yelich for the National League Most Valuable Player.
Then came the drop off. In the weird 2020 season, Bellinger slashed .239/.333/.455 with 12 home runs in 243 plate appearances for a 112 wRC+. It was still a fine season, but a noticeable drop off from one of the best seasons in recent times.
It got even worse for Bellinger during the 2020 postseason. After hitting a swamp donkey to his pull side in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series to put the Dodgers up 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Bellinger dislocated his right shoulder. Was it on the swing? Did he dive into home plate for some weird reason? Nope, it was during his celebration where he locked elbows with Enrique Hernández.
The 2021 season was his worst, slashing just .165/.240/.3092 with 10 home runs in 350 plate appearances, with his K% increasing to a career-high 26.9%, and putting up a 47 wRC+. It was the only season where he had a fWAR below 1, as it clocked in at -1. Bellinger’s 2022 season wasn’t much better, slashing .210/.265/.389 with 19 home runs in 550 plate appearances with a 27.3 K% and an 83 wRC+. This prompted the Dodgers to non-tender the former MVP winner.
So why am I writing an article about a guy who fell off? Well, Bellinger had a resurgence in 2023 with the Chicago Cubs. The outfielder slashed .307/.356/.525 with 26 home runs in 556 plate appearances. After posting two seasons with a K% near 27%, Bellinger had a 15.6 K%, the lowest in his career. Moreover, his 134 wRC+ was the third highest in his career, and he had a 4.1 fWAR, the second-highest mark in his career.
He’s no Ohtani, but Bellinger is still a good player. Defensively, his best season came in 2019 when he posted 18 Defensive Runs Saved and 7 Outs Above Average in 911.1 innings in right field. Since then, he’s only played 40.2 innings in right field, with most of his time coming in centre field, and 584.1 innings at first base (421.1 innings last season). Realistically, the Jays could move George Springer to left field, Daulton Varsho to centre field, and Bellinger to right field.
There’s also this little nugget, as Bellinger’s girlfriend shared a story on Instagram, featuring Union Station, the big ass pile of concrete known as the CN Tower and the Simcoe Place.
What the heck is Simcoe Place? Well, it’s the building that would not be visible in December 2023 from the front of Union Station, with the recently constructed skyscraper called TD Terrace a block in front of it (from where the photo was taken).
Now, Chase Carter is a model, so it makes sense that she’d be heading to one of North America’s largest cities, especially since there are two fashion events coming up in mid-December. 
It’s probably nothing, especially since it’s likely he’d meet the Blue Jays front office in Dunedin, Florida. The more likely scenario is that she’ll be at the event and is just drumming up interest from her followers that actually follow her for her job. Why is it not a current picture? Who knows, maybe it was to rile up Blue Jays fans who just tracked a Robert Herjavec plane, but at that point, it’s speculation.
Bellinger is the best position player remaining on the market, so it makes sense the Blue Jays have some interest in the 28-year-old outfielder. Moreover, they were apparently in on him during the 2022-23 free agency, so no doubt there’ll be some level of interest there as they’ll need an outfielder for the 2024 season.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.


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