The Cubs have been talking contract extension with this player for a long time

The conversations with the Cubs and their latest free-agent signing were a long road with twists and turns.

2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs' decision to be buyers at the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline last season is what paved the way for Cody Bellinger to return to the team this off-season.

Bellinger was a major topic of conversation in the weeks leading up to the deadline. Had the Cubs been sellers, it's likely that the team would have dealt the 2023 National League Comeback Player of the Year to the New York Yankees.

It was a decision that Jed Hoyer discussed with Jon Heyman of the New York Post on the latest episode of "The Show" podcast.

The Chicago Cubs have been talking contract extension with Cody Bellinger since last July.

In his conversation with Heyman and Joel Sherman, Hoyer confirms that the Cubs have been engaged in contract negotiations with Scott Boras over Bellinger since last July. This should not come as a complete surprise considering the instant giddiness that Hoyer had when speaking about Bellinger immediately after the deadline last season.

This is a rare case where Boras rarely taking in-season extensions with his clients in their walk-year actually worked out in the Cubs' favor. Boras had an initial asking price of $250MM for Bellinger this off-season and it's likely the amount was higher in the conversations he had with Hoyer last summer.

Considering that no team jumped the market to sign Bellinger to that type of deal, the Cubs ultimately made the right decision in waiting out the market for their center fielder.

Assuming Bellinger repeats his production from last season, chances are he will be testing the free-agent waters once again next off-season. While the opportunity would be there for a sequel to this off-season's negotiations between Hoyer and Boras, in a perfect world, the Cubs may be content with letting Bellinger walk after this season as long as they see development from their group of outfield prospects that include Owen Caissie, Pete Crow-Armstrong, and Kevin Alcantara.

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