The Chicago Cubs won't be trading center fielder Cody Bellinger at the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline on August 1.
Bellinger has been a popular name on the trade market over the course of the past month but the team's current eight-game winning streak has pushed the Cubs directly into contention.
With less than four games separating the Cubs from both first place in the National League Central division and the final wild-card spot, it should be no surprise that the team has taken Bellinger off the trade market.
Jesse Rogers of ESPN reported on Sunday that the Cubs have told teams that Bellinger will not be traded ahead of the deadline this week.
"The Cubs' turnaround on the field has led to a change in strategy off it as opposing teams have been told outfielder and free-agent-to-be Cody Bellinger will not be traded, according to sources familiar with the situation."- Jesse Rogers via ESPN
And no, this is not an instance where Bellinger is safe but starting pitcher Marcus Stroman may still be traded.
Bob Nightengale of The USA Today reported on Sunday that in addition to Bellinger, Stroman is not expected to be traded at the deadline either.
"– The Chicago Cubs had all of the intentions in the world to trade All-Star pitcher Marcus Stroman and former MVP outfielder Cody Bellinger, but the team’s torrid play of late abruptly changed plans. "- Bob Nightengale via USA Today
Rejoice, Cubs fans.
For the first time since 2020, the Cubs will not be sellers at the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline.
Not only are the Cubs not selling, there is an expectation growing that the team will be active in making additions to their roster before Tuesday.
One name that the Cubs may have their sights on is Pittsburgh Pirates closer David Bednar.
Bednar has been an All-Star in each of the past two seasons and is under team control until 2027, so the asking price will be high. Bednar has an ERA of 1.30 on the season with 21 saves.
Bednar would immediately slot into the closer's role for the Cubs with Adbert Alzolay becoming the primary set-up reliever in the bullpen. The ability to shorten games with Alzolay and Bednar at the end of the bullpen may be what solidifies the Cubs as a legitimate post-season threat.