Since the season wrapped up, Cody Bellinger to the Yankees has felt like a foregone conclusion - an inevitability from which no one can escape. But that may not prove to be the case, with the Cubs (at least to a degree) and, now, the San Francisco Giants also interested in the NL Comeback Player of the Year.
Reports from Jon Heyman and Jesse Rogers this week confirm the Giants' interest in Bellinger, who would be a perfect fit for a team in need of a middle-of-the-order bat and a strong glove in the outfield. Throw in the fact San Francisco has big-time dollars to spend after missing out on Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa last offseason and the fit is plain as day.
With Cubs likely on the outside looking in, the Giants may be a perfect fit for Cody Bellinger in free agency
As a team, the Giants ranked 27th in baseball in slugging percentage in 2023 and 26th in OPS. Even with Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger returning next year, there's a clear opportunity to upgrade things in center field, where Bellinger could not only bring his Gold Glove-caliber defense, but a well-rounded offensive skill set that could play well at Oracle Park.
The cavernous alleys in San Francisco could help Bellinger turn a lot of singles into doubles and doubles to triples - utilizing the speed that saw him post a 20/20 season with Chicago in 2023. The question, of course, is if the former Rookie of the Year and MVP can replicate his 2023 success moving forward because a lot of the metrics behind his numbers were less than savory, to say the least.
When it comes to the Cubs, a reunion seems quite unlikely at this point. This marriage went as well as anyone could have possibly hoped, with Bellinger re-establishing his value and getting another bite at the free agent apple this winter and Chicago getting a badly-needed run producer this summer as it looked to turn the corner on its latest rebuilding effort.
I think it'll come down to the Giants and Yankees in the end - and the former may have a more urgent need than the latter after two high-profile free agent whiffs last winter. Plus, who wouldn't want to see Bellinger haunt the Dodgers, his former team that cut him loose following the 2022 campaign, in the NL West for years to come?