Cubs Rumors: Cody Bellinger only wants a one-year contract

Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs - Game Two
Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs - Game Two / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

Since his 8.6 bWAR 2019 season that culminated in him taking home National League MVP honors, Cody Bellinger has looked like a shell of his former self. So much so that the only team he's ever played for, the Los Angeles Dodgers, non-tendered him last week rather than pay him a salary likely to fall somewhere in the $20 million range in his final year of arbitration.

But at just 27 years old, there's plenty of time for the two-time All-Star to turn things around and get his career back on track. According to a new report from The Athletic, that's exactly what Bellinger and his agent Scott Boras are focused on - with their camp seeking a one-year pact in free agency that would allow him to hopefully re-establish his value in 2023.

"I've already been offered multi-years. Most likely, because of his age, we don’t want a multi-year. "

Scott Boras

That scenario bodes well for a team like the Cubs, who have money to spend and a glaring need at both of Bellinger's positions, first base and, more importantly, center field. Chicago has nothing to lose by ponying up what it'll wind up taking to bring Bellinger into the fold, especially on that one-year deal.

Cubs, Cody Bellinger on a short-term pact are a perfect marriage

Even without the offensive firepower he once displayed, this is a guy who runs well and can give a team above-average defense in center field. Pairing Bellinger with Ian Happ, a 2022 Gold Glove winner, and Seiya Suzuki in the Cubs outfield next year would give Chicago its strongest outfield mix in years - and the short-term deal has obvious advantages to the team's long-term plans, as well.

The injuries to Alexander Canario and Brennen Davis certainly changed the outlook for the organization, at least in the short-term, when it comes to the outfield mix. That being said, both, along with top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong, are still viewed as likely big league contributors in the not-too-distant future. The Cubs could bridge the gap to this next generation seamlessly with a one-year signing of Bellinger, which would do nothing in terms of blocking these guys when they're ready to make their mark on the big league club.

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Chicago isn't alone in its interest in Bellinger. For obvious reasons, a number of teams are kicking the tires on the former Rookie of the Year. But for the reasons we've outlined here, the Cubs are the one team that can't let Bellinger wind up elsewhere - he's just too perfect a fit to land anywhere but Wrigley.