The first domino to fall of the Chicago Cubs' off-season may be bringing back Cody Bellinger on a multi-year deal.
It's likely that such a deal would be structured in a way that will provide Bellinger the ability to opt-out in the event that he proves his offensive success in 2023 is sustainable but this off-season has played out in the exact fashion that would bring the two sides back to each other.
Neither the San Francisco Giants or Toronto Blue Jays appear to be motivated to meet Bellinger's asking price of a deal north of $200MM and the New York Yankees traded for Juan Soto. It would seem that it is the Cubs or bust for Bellinger in terms of finding a deal that will, at least, be close to his asking price.
With the next wave of free agency expected to kick off this week, there's a belief that Bellinger to the Cubs is the next logical move. That sentiment was shared by Jon Heyman last week and was echoed by Jon Morosi on Tuesday.
It would seem that Bellinger is holding up the Cubs' activity from beginning.
In the event that the Cubs were to miss on Bellinger, it's likely that they would pivot to free-agent first baseman Rhys Hoskins. Scott Boras represents both Bellinger and Hoskins and that is an important aspect in all of this. For Hoskins, he likely would be a fallback option for any team that does not sign Bellinger. That would be the reason why Boras likely would prefer to get Bellinger's deal done first as that would then allow him to sell Hoskins to the teams that are still in need of a power bat for the middle of their lineup.