3 free agents to target - 1. Cody Bellinger
Above all else, the Cubs must now prioritize Cody Bellinger this winter. We've mentioned several reasons already, including how the stars may be aligning for a reunion with the Cubs on a long-term deal. Given that Juan Soto is a Yankee and Ohtani is a Dodger, the Bellinger sweepstakes should boil down to the Cubs, San Francisco Giants, and Toronto Blue Jays. With Bellinger being the best bat on the market and having the ability to play center field and first base, he checks too many boxes for the Cubs for Jed Hoyer not to be willing to overpay if necessary.
Bellinger's asking price of 250.0M+ is unrealistic, but seeing his price tag approach and even surpass $200MM in this market is becoming more and more realistic. The Cubs need to be flexible here, as Bellinger will be looking for more years rather than a short-term high AAV deal. It's time for Hoyer to push past his comfort level. Last year, we were pleasantly surprised with the seven years given to Dansby Swanson. Given Bellinger's ceiling, Hoyer must go further to land his guy. Without him, the team would find it nearly impossible to improve offensively without some unforeseen blockbuster trade. This must be priority #1.