Latest Cody Bellinger update is a sign the Chicago Cubs are ready to move on

The Chicago Cubs do not appear to be motivated to shift their approach in negotiations with free agent outfielder Cody Bellinger.

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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It was pretty clear at the end of the 2023 season that the Chicago Cubs were ready for life after Cody Bellinger.

That's not to say that the Cubs would not welcome Bellinger back but there was an awareness from Jed Hoyer that the pillow contract they signed the 2019 National League MVP to prior to the season was not going to be on the table after a 2023 season where the veteran outfielder earned National League Comeback Player of the Year honors.

Bellinger seemingly was in line for a long-term deal north of $200MM and the Cubs, with outfielders littered at the top of their prospect rankings, were not going to make that commitment. Bellinger's market has not played out the way that Scott Boras may have anticipated, with the idea being that Boras would need to move off his original ask--thus, created speculation that the Cubs are in the driver's seat.

One thing is clear, the Cubs are not going to move off their offer for Bellinger. Jesse Rogers of ESPN provided an update on where things stand between the Cubs and Bellinger and it's clear the team has drawn a line in the sand.

"The Cubs and Bellinger's camp have been at a standstill for the entire offseason and nothing has changed, according to sources familiar with the situation. That doesn't mean a deal can't still happen, but it does show that the Cubs are willing to enter 2024 without the 2019 MVP and that it is extremely unlikely the team changes its stance on offering a massive deal"

ESPN

Cubs fans need to prepare for a Cubs' 2024 roster that does not include Bellinger. For as much as the Cubs may be viewed as the likeliest suitor for Bellinger, it's clear that initial plan for the Cubs' off-season did not revolve around bringing Bellinger back. With that always being the original plan for the Cubs, there is no incentive for the team to shift their approach in negotiations with Boras.

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