Andrew Friedman: Dodgers ‘Still Believe In’ Cody Bellinger

Cody Bellinger took MLB by storm when he was called up to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017, earning an All-Star Game selection and National League Rookie of the Year honors.

The former fourth-round draft pick continued to shine in 2018 and enjoyed his best season the following year when he slugged 47 home runs and took home the NL MVP Award.

Since then, however, Bellinger has been on a downward trend. After back-to-back disappointing seasons, the 27-year-old is in jeopardy of being non-tendered by the November 18 deadline.

While it remains to be seen what decision the Dodgers will make, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman reiterated his confidence that Bellinger can return to his previous form during an appearance on “MLB Now”:

“Having backstage kind of pass to watching him, I still very much believe in the true talent and ability. And I’ve watched how hard he has worked, how much he cares. Obviously, last year was disappointing. He’d be the first to say that and that there’s a lot more in there. So now it’s incumbent upon him, us, everyone, to figure out how to do that. From a talent and work ethic standpoint, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to.”

Bellinger is coming off a season in which he batted .210/.265/.389 with 27 doubles, 19 home runs and 68 RBI over 144 games. The production represented an improvement from 2021 but fell well short of expectations that were placed on him early in his career.

While Bellinger struggled at the plate, he still provided value in other areas, including on the base paths where he stole 14 bases, and with his glove in center field.

Will the Dodgers non-tender Cody Bellinger?

Bellinger is in his final year of salary arbitration and is projected to earn $18.1 million next season. If the Dodgers non-tender him, they can still potentially re-sign him.

There’s some belief the Dodgers will non-tender Bellinger, but doing so would make him a free agent who could then negotiate a contract with any team.

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