It's becoming increasingly clear that Scott Boras feels the Chicago Cubs are the team in the greatest position to pay the current asking price that he has for Cody Bellinger.
Reports throughout the off-season were that Bellinger was seeking a long-term contract worth north of $200MM and that falls in line with Boras continuing to mention the 2023 National League Comeback Player of the Year in the same breath as MVP-caliber players such as Ronald Acuña Jr, Corey Seager, and Freddie Freeman.
While Bellinger showed flashes of being an MVP-caliber player throughout stretches of the 2023 season, there was still plenty within his batted-ball metrics to suggest he was the beneficiary of some luck last season.
To that end, it should be no surprise that the Cubs' current offers to Bellinger are structured for the short term with opt-outs. Patrick Mooney of The Athletic (Subscription Required) provided this update on the Cubs and Bellinger.
"That patience means it’s unrealistic to think Cody Bellinger will suddenly start prioritizing early opt-outs and short-term deals, according to a league source."- Patrick Mooney, The Athletic
It's clear what the Cubs are trying to do with their current negotiations with Boras regarding Bellinger. The Cubs want to avoid the situation they just now got out of--overpaying an offensive player who regressed for the duration of the contract. Unlike their contract structure with Jason Heyward, the Cubs want to afford themselves an out in the event that there is regression to the mean for Bellinger's offensive profile.
Concessions are going to need to be made on both sides if there is to be a deal between the Cubs and Bellinger. The Cubs will need to make the concession and realize they will eventually need to work with Boras on a long-term deal while the super agent will need to realize that Bellinger, for all the success he had last season, remains an uncertainty in the long-term for offensive projections.