The Chicago Cubs finalized the signing of Cody Bellinger to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2024. Terms of the deal were not announced by the team, but multiple reports indicate Bellinger is due to earn a $12.5 million base salary next season.
If the mutual option is not exercised, he would receive a $5 million buyout, bringing the total guarantee to $17.5 million. His salary with the Cubs represents a slightly increase from the $17 million earned in 2022.
Bellinger was projected to earn $18 million to $20 million had he been tendered a contract by the Los Angeles Dodgers and gone through salary arbitration process for a final time.
Prior to signing with the Cubs, Bellinger’s agent, Scott Boras, indicated his client had received multi-year contract offers but was only looking for a one-year deal.
The Dodgers had interest in signing Bellinger, though presumably at a much more team-friendly figure than what he received with the Cubs.
Boras is confident Bellinger can use a healthy offseason to propel him into a bounce-back season. Since being voted 2019 National League Rookie of the Year, Bellinger has hit .203/.272/.376 with 46 doubles, 41 home runs and 134 RBI in 295 games over the past three seasons.
Over six seasons with the Dodgers, Bellinger’s accumulated a Rookie of the Year Award, two All-Star Game selections, MVP, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger.
Bellinger became the first Dodgers player to win NL MVP, a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in the same season when he accomplished the feat in 2019.
The Dodgers now are in search of a center fielder to replace the 27-year-old, along with looking to address a void at shortstop.
Dave Roberts confident in Cody Bellinger
Although manager Dave Roberts benched Bellinger when the Dodgers were facing elimination against the San Diego Padres in Game 4 of the NL Division Series, he holds fond memories of their time together and is confident success lies ahead.
“I’m excited for Cody,” Roberts said during the Winter Meetings in San Diego. “He was very good for me. He was a very good Dodger. He grew a lot. And I wish him well. And I’m very grateful to be able to manage him for six years.”
“I don’t think the skillset’s changed. Certainly he’s motivated. Maybe a change of scenery will be beneficial. I know David Ross, I know Jedd (Hoyer). So the environment’s going to be good for him. And again, I wish nothing but the best for Cody.”
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