Dave Roberts Happy For Cody Bellinger & ‘Very Confident’ He Will Return To Form With Cubs

Cody Bellinger was a late addition to the free agent market after the Los Angeles Dodgers non-tendered him last month. The 27-year-old endured another subpar season in 2022, but generated significant interest from teams.

While the Dodgers were open to retaining Bellinger, that possibility ended on the second day of the Winter Meetings in San Diego when he agreed to sign with the Chicago Cubs.

“I’m excited for Cody,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “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.”

Bellinger’s first three seasons with the Dodgers were successful as he earned National League Rookie of the Year honors in 2017, two All-Star Game appearances and the 2019 NL MVP Award.

Since then, however, Bellinger has hit just .203/.272/.376 with 46 doubles, 41 home runs and 134 RBI in 295 games over the past three seasons. “Very confident,” Roberts answered when asked if Bellinger can get back to the level he once was at.

“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.”

Dave Roberts: Dodgers searching for center fielder to replace Cody Bellinger

With Bellinger moving on to the next chapter in his career, the Dodgers will need to replace him this offseason. “I would say somebody that can manage center field is probably a top priority,” Roberts said of the team potentially adding an outfielder.

The Dodgers currently project to have Mookie Betts, Chris Taylor, Trayce Thompson, and potentially Jason Heyward and James Outman as outfielders on their Opening Day roster next year.

Heyward was recently signed to a Minor League contract and played 26 games (23 starts) in center field for the Cubs this past season, which was a position he hadn’t manned since 2019.

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