5 best free agents available after Shohei Ohtani deal and where they’ll sign

Shohei Ohtani is off the board, but there are several high-profile free agents left on the market.

Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs
Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs / Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Cody Bellinger will sign with the San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants tried and failed to sign Carlos Correa. Then, Aaron Judge fell through. A run was made at Shohei Ohtani, but no, he decided to sign with the Giants' division rival. Now, with a new manager in Bob Melvin and a directive to compete, the Giants are still searching for an offensive star to anchor their lineup.

Cody Bellinger is the best bat left on the market, and he happens to address a position of need for the Giants in centerfield. After a couple rocky seasons in Los Angeles, Bellinger signed a modest one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs to prove his mettle in 2023. Consider his mettle proved. Bellinger exploded after the All-Star break and finished the season slashing .307/.356/.525 with 26 home runs and 97 RBIs in 499 ABs.

The Cubs want Bellinger back and have the financial means to re-sign him, not to mention the motivation after similarly whiffing on Ohtani. That said, the current landscape of the NL West is the perfect recipe for a desperation move from San Francisco. The Dodgers look unbeatable. The Arizona Diamondbacks just won the National League. If the Giants don't land a big fish, it will be hard to mount any sort of competitive run in Melvin's first season.

Bellinger has a shakier résumé than San Francisco might want from their superstar free agent swing, but his season with the Cubs was a return to form. He won MVP with the Dodgers in 2019. A low hard-hit percentage (31.4 — 10th percentile) has been cited as a concern, but Bellinger was an extremely disciplined batter with a low strikeout rate (15.6 percent — 87th percentile) while leading the Cubs to the postseason doorstep.

San Francisco needs to make a splash. Bellinger is the move.