Not handing Cody Bellinger a $250 million contract is an easily defendable position if you're any big league team, really. Yes, he returned to form in 2023 with the Chicago Cubs, but in the two preceding years, he was one of the worst players in the sport.
But in Mark Feinsand's latest piece at MLB.com, he answers an array of Bellinger-related questions and outlines what he thinks the former MVP's final contract will end up looking like - and, suffice to say, if this is how things play out, Cubs fans will be calling for Jed Hoyer's head.
"Bellinger is the best left-handed hitter remaining in free agency and probably the best overall position player still available, making him a good fit for the Blue Jays. The Cubs shouldn’t be counted out, but Chicago has had ample opportunity to re-sign Bellinger. The guess here is a seven-year, $182 million deal with the Blue Jays."- MLB.com
Now, earlier this week, we again heard that Bellinger continues to seek a deal north of $200 million - which is pretty clearly outside Chicago's comfort zone given the uncertainty that comes with the outfielder. Scott Boras continues to make his case for his client as the MLB super-agent continues to slow the pace of the offseason to a crawl.
If there's a reasonable contract to be given to Cody Bellinger, it needs to come from the Chicago Cubs
Last season, no matter how you look at it, Bellinger made the Cubs a better team. He did it at the plate, in the field and on the basepaths, joining a pretty exclusive list of North Siders to achieve a 20/20 season. Even if you're sold on top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong as the long-term solution in center field, Bellinger at first base checks a big box at another position of need.
Feinsand notes that, while the Giants can't be counted out, this very much feels like a two-team situation between the Cubs and Blue Jays. Toronto offered Shohei Ohtani big money and have just two years left until pieces of their young core hits free agency - making a Bellinger pursuit logical both in the short and long-term.
Again, I get not wanting to go to $200+ million total or $30+ million annually on a long-term deal for a guy who's had the lowest lows to go along with the highest highs. But this prediction feels awfully palatable for a guy with the tools and track record Bellinger possesses - and if he inks a deal like this with Toronto over Chicago, it's gonna be a bitter pill to swallow.