Latest rumor suggested Cubs were ready for life without Cody Bellinger

The Chicago Cubs remain the most likely suitor for Cody Bellinger but their plans earlier this off-season suggests they were ready to move on.

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One / David Berding/GettyImages

Given how the Major League Baseball off-season has played out, the Chicago Cubs are in a position where it is now more likely than not that Cody Bellinger will be back with the team.

The Cubs remain in a staring contest with Scott Boras regarding the valuation of Bellinger's next contract but given that other teams such as the San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays have settled for alternative options in the outfield, it would seem that the eventual landing place for the 2023 National League Comeback Player of the Year will be a return to the Cubs.

For the Blue Jays, the outfield option they turned to was bringing back veteran Kevin Kiermaier on a one-year deal.

Kiermaier posted a 104 wRC+ with the Blue Jays during the 2023 season while playing stellar defense in center field. Prior to re-upping with the Blue Jays, the Cubs were one of the teams that checked in on the four-time Gold Glove award winner.

"Kiermaier, who debuted with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013, had spent his entire career with teams that play on artificial turf. At age 33, his body requested a change in surface. He had options, too. The Twins called and had steady dialogue with his representatives. The Dodgers -- and their famously pristine lawn -- made an early inquiry. The Cubs and Giants checked in."

Jon Morosi via MLB Dot Com

The Cubs had interest in Kiermaier prior to his first deal with the Blue Jays before the 2023 season, so it's not surprising to hear that they circled back this winter.

The Cubs' interest in Kiermaier also points to the fact that the team was ready for life without Bellinger. The idea likely would have been Kiermaier opening the season as the team's starting center fielder before making way for Pete Crow-Armstrong.

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