The Los Angeles Dodgers re-signed Cody Bellinger to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration before the lockout and no one seemed to know about it.
The MLB lockout has thrown the MLB offseason out of whack, so much so that the Dodgers haven’t even announced a key re-signing.
According to Jeff Pasan, Los Angeles re-signed Cody Bellinger to a one-year deal worth $17 million before the Dec. 1 lockout.
The deal has gone unreported for more than three weeks in part because individual player names are not being referenced by teams during the lockout.
The Dodgers are sticking with Cody Bellinger despite his struggles
The new deal for Bellinger means the team and player avoided arbitration. He’s getting a $900,000 raise while the Dodgers are keeping the faith that he will get out of his current slump.
Bellinger is a two-time All-Star. He was the Rookie of the Year in 2017 and the NL MVP in 2019. However, his last two seasons have been a struggle. He batted .165/.240/.302 in 2021, putting up the worst numbers of his career.
Injuries haven’t helped. He dealt with a shoulder injury during the Dodgers’ World Series run in 2020 and had surgery after the season to prepare the damage. He suffered a hairline fracture in his fibula early in the 2021 season.
If LA wanted to non-tender Bellinger, they could have let him walk away as a free agent. His performance in 2020 definitely didn’t warrant a raise to $17 million on production alone.
Still, his early success warrants some patience and hope for the future. After all, the Dodgers got a hell of a deal paying an MVP just $605,000 in 2019. The important thing is getting him healthy and seeing what he still has left to give. The value could definitely still be there.