Cubs can't afford to roll the dice with the Cody Bellinger waiting game

A reunion remains a possibility, but with Scott Boras ready to stretch this timeline out, Jed Hoyer needs to get to work building a roster that can win with or without Bellinger.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Chicago Cubs
Arizona Diamondbacks v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages
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Scott Boras continues to take his pitch for Cody Bellinger to the masses, putting the ball squarely in the court of Cubs owner Tom Ricketts in his latest comments to 670 The Score.

"You’ve got to make sure that you can illustrate to your fan base that you want to win. If you don’t get these players, they’re not going to be available in the next free-agent market. And then you try to mitigate that by trading for lesser players."

Scott Boras on 670 WSCR

Boras, of course, spoke of Bellinger's decorated resume - which now includes NL Rookie of the Year, NL MVP, NL Comeback Player of the Year, two All-Star selections, a Gold Glove, a pair of Silver Sluggers and a World Series ring. Of course, it also features a three-year stretch where he posted a 76 OPS+ from 2020-2022, including a horrendous 2021-22 run where he hit just .193 with a .611 OPS - but you won't be reminded of that by baseball's biggest agent.

"He really enjoyed the city of Chicago, enjoyed being a Cub. Always, these decisions really tender on the idea how competitive ownership wants to be to acquire the best players. I hope for all of Chicago that the Cubs meet the competitive nature of the league to compete for the best players and have a good team."

Scott Boras on 670 WSCR

Cubs need to start executing a plan for a team without Cody Bellinger

Boras has shown year after year he has no problem playing the waiting game with his biggest clients, with January and even February signing dates a commonplace for his players. That's all fine and well, but if that's how Bellinger's market is going to play out, Jed Hoyer has to start planning for the very real possibility the 28-year-old won't be part of the 2024 Cubs roster and making moves.

Rhys Hoskins is a no-brainer at first base in some capacity and there are still quite a few free agent pitchers - not to mention trade opportunities - Chicago can explore to shore up the pitching staff. If Bellinger were to sign elsewhere, top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong has the inside track on the starting center field job, while Christopher Morel seems likely to either be at third or wearing a different team's uniform come Opening Day.

If, after Hoyer pieces together his team, Bellinger is still looking for a home and there's a deal to be had, then you'll be adding a cherry on top of what should be a pretty close to finished sundae. Because if you play Boras' waiting game and you lose, it can completely derail an organization.

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