The Los Angeles Dodgers have to make their official decision on whether or not they will non-tender Cody Bellinger by 5 p.m. PT on Friday, which would immediately make him a free agent.
The 27-year-old, who has put up lackluster numbers across the last two seasons, including a .210 batting average and a .654 on-base plus slugging in 144 games during the 2022 campaign, has one more year of being eligible for salary arbitration.
That process would likely guarantee Bellinger’s salary for 2023 be between $17 and $19 million.
Although his recent season figures aren’t on par with a stellar 2019, if the left-handed slugger could find his footing at the plate, he could be a strong value to any team. Bellinger, who was benched in Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the San Diego Padres, has still maintained interest from the Dodgers.
But according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Toronto Blue Jays are among the teams interested in Bellinger if he is non-tendered by Los Angeles:
The #BlueJays are one team to watch on Cody Bellinger if he is non-tendered; they are known to have interest in FA Brandon Nimmo.
The Jays want to add a left-handed bat in the outfield, and Rogers Centre is a great place to revive one's offensive numbers. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 17, 2022
Toronto, who finished second in the American League East with a 92-70 record, are looking to make another strong playoff run in 2023. In this year’s Wild Card Series, they were swept at home in two games by the Seattle Mariners.
In addition to the Dodgers considering a non-tender, there reportedly is also the likelihood of a Bellinger trade by the deadline.
Bellinger could boost Blue Jays lineup
The Blue Jays, whose .264 average was the highest amongst any team for the 2022 season, had the seventh-lowest batting average among their left-handed batters at .220.
While their interest in Bellinger could be directly related to quelling this struggle, their left-handed consistency is clearly an area of focus for them this offseason. Toronto’s .272 average amongst right-handed batter’s led all of baseball.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!