Chicago Cubs should start by re-signing Cody Bellinger
It may sound obvious, but if the Cubs are going to make any noise this offseason, it should start with signing Cody Bellinger to a contract extension. Bellinger is familiar with what the Cubs bring to the table. The pair have at least discussed a new contract in some detail, so Chicago's front office has a head start.
Bellinger's agent, Scott Boras, will want to break the bank. Bellinger himself wants a long-term guaranteed deal so he no longer has to worry about matters on a year-to-year basis. That is fair. Hoyer and Bellinger have already had this conversation, to some extent. The Cubs would love to have him back.
“We sat down with him on Sunday and had a long conversation,” Hoyer said. “I told him, ‘It's rare to have a guy come in on a one-year deal and have that kind of connection with the fans by the middle of the season.’ It was really special.”
Signing Bellinger and others could force the Cubs to go over the luxury tax, something the Ricketts family has avoided in the past. Would they change that philosophy this winter?
“Philosophically, we've shown a willingness to do it,” Hoyer said. “It's both a budgetary question, but it's also just, we want to make sure that, strategically, you do it at the right time. And so, we'll have those discussions.”
If that's a yes, then perhaps Bellinger stays after all.