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The Chicago Cubs are seen as the favourites to sign Cody Bellinger

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Photo credit:© Brett Davis - USA Today
Ryley Delaney
2 months ago
The Blue Jays may lose out on the top outfielder in free agency.
According to a recent article by Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, it appears as if the Cubs are the favourites to sign Cody Bellinger. However, the article does mention that the Jays are a serious contender even with the re-signing of Kevin Kiermaier.
At one point, Bellinger was one of the best players on the planet. He won the National League Rookie of the Year in 2017 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, slashing .267/.352/.581 with 398 home runs for a 138 wRC+ and a 3.9 fWAR. Two seasons later, he won the National League MVP award, slashing .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs with a 14.4 BB% and a 16.4 K% for a 161 wRC+ and a 7.8 wRC+.
His brief downfall has been well documented, as he was okay in 2020, slashing .239/.333/.455 with 12 homers in 243 plate appearances for a 112 wRC+ and a 1.4 wRC+. The 2021 season was Bellinger’s worst, slashing just .165/.240/.302 with 10 homers in 350 plate appearances for a 47 wRC+ and a -1 fWAR.
Bellinger improved a bit in his final season in Los Angeles in 2022, slashing .210/.265/.389 with 19 homers and career-worst 27.3 K% and 6.9 BB%, giving him an 83 wRC+ and 1.8 fWAR. At the end of the season, the Dodgers non-tendered their former MVP winner, leading him to join the Chicago Cubs on a one-year deal.
The 2023 season was a great one for Bellinger, who returned to form. He slashed .307/.356/.525 with 26 home runs, a 7.2 BB% and a 15.6 K%, the lowest mark in his career. His 134 wRC+ was the third-best of his career, while his 4.1 fWAR was the second-best of his career.
Bellinger would slot in nicely for the Blue Jays, as he plays fantastic defence and could push George Springer into a full-time designated hitter role, or at least a part-time role in that position. On top of providing great defence in the outfield, Bellinger has played significant time at first base, giving Vladimir Guerrero Jr. time off if need be.
While the Chicago Cubs may be the favourite to sign Bellinger, the Blue Jays shouldn’t be discredited for making a run at him.

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

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