2024 Chicago Cubs Payroll Projections after Cody Bellinger contract

The Chicago Cubs finally opened those purse strings and spent intelligently, but what does this contract mean for them and Cody Bellinger in the coming years?

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Option Two: Two-years $60 million dollars

Both of the remaining scenarios seem equally likely. Even in our article that pleaded for the Cubs to sign Bellinger to a player-friendly deal, we didn’t have the AAV at $30 million, so sticking around for a second big payday doesn’t imply anything about his onfield performance, positive or negative. 

What it would mean for Bellinger:

Much like the three-year deal this won’t necessarily paint a picture of whether he played well or he played poorly. 

While players would love to get more guaranteed money, locking in $60 million dollars and then being able to hit the open market again prior to his age-30 season gives Bellinger an opportunity to secure more than if he’d signed a long-term deal right now. 

If he had signed the deal that was advocated earlier this week, eight years for $200 million dollars that would have likely been his last big league contract as it would have ended after his age-36 season. 

However, by signing this deal he can potentially still get that “overpay” in two years (with a higher Competitive Balance Tax threshold) meaning in order to match the value of that massive original deal he would just need it to be a six-year $140 million dollar deal, but if he plays as well as we expect he should be able to surpass that. 

What it would mean for the Cubs:

This is the ideal scenario for the Cubs. If Bellinger opts out after the second year that means that he believes he can do better than $20 million on the open market which means he’s been a solid player that has been worth his value as a free agent. 

In this scenario, he’d walk while Pete Crow-Armstrong, Michael Busch, Matt Shaw, Owen Caissie, Cade Horton, Ben Brown, and Jordan Wicks are all still in pre-arbitration and Ian Happ, Seiya Suzuki, Nico Hoerner, and Jameson Taillon are entering the final years of their deal. That would mean that going into the 2025-2026 offseason the team would have the flexibility to build the roster in a way that would fill the holes that will present themselves as prospect hype fizzles out or injuries pop up.