While all the recent focus for the Chicago Cubs at the Major League Baseball Winter Meeting has been on their pursuit of the three remaining top free-agent shortstops in Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson, the team is still expected to acquire a center fielder this offseason. It would seem that the Cubs' primary target for their center field vacancy is former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger. Bellinger was non-tendered by the Dodgers and considering his offensive struggles since winning the National League MVP in 2019, it is believed that he is looking for a short-term deal in order to rebuild his value.
Bellinger's agent, Scott Boras, told reporters on Tuesday that Bellinger has received multi-year offers but it remains likely that he will take a one-year deal.
The Cubs represent an ideal landing spot for Bellinger considering the circumstances surrounding the team's need in center field. With top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong likely not ready for the Major League level until 2024, the Cubs only have a short-term need in center field. Ideally, the need is filled by a defensive upgrade from what the Cubs saw out of the position in 2022. Bellinger certainly represents that upgrade.
In addition, playing in Wrigley Field, a park that has the tendency to favor hitters in the summer, could be appealing for Bellinger as he looks to regain his swing that won silver slugger honors during his MVP campaign in 2019.
The expectation is for Bellinger to receive a one-year deal in the $20MM range. Boras has indicated that the Cubs are ready to spend money this offseason and perhaps Bellinger will be one of the players that the team is intent on spending on.