Cubs Rumors: Cody Bellinger buzz, Pete Alonso trade, David Ross hot seat

The Cubs still have high hopes for the rest of 2023, but there's plenty to discuss in regards to their offseason moves.
Cody Bellinger
Cody Bellinger / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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Cody Bellinger return interest still appears to be mutual

The individual feel-good story of the Cubs 2023 season is easily Cody Bellinger. Bellinger signed a one-year deal with the Cubs largely to rehabilitate his image and prove he could still hack it on the offensive end after a bummer of a few years with the Dodgers.

Bellinger tumbled about as far as one can in MLB without finding himself out of the game altogether. After winning NL MVP in 2019, his OPS+ fell to 44 in 2021 and 81 in 2021. This year, his OPS+ has jumped to 143, which essentially means his OPS is 43 percent better than the league average.

The Cubs were wise to give him a one-year deal. At the time, Bellinger's success was unproven and there needed to be a time-driven incentive for him to prove what he could do. Now, however, he's done that, and the Cubs would love to keep him in Chicago beyond the contract they currently have him on.

After he looked like a likely outgoing trade piece when the Cubs were losing, he has now become a potential long-standing asset for the team to take with it into the future... That is, if they can re-sign him. So where do things stand?

A recent Cubs mailbag from Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic addressed that topic.

Unfortunately, for now, there's no big change. Mooney said that the Cubs are still expected to be involved (subscription required) in the Bellinger sweepstakes, but it's far from a certainty that he will re-sign.

Bellinger has been complimentary of the team and dropped hints that he'd like to return, but in an open market, the Cubs best offer could be beaten, especially with plenty of teams having a need for a two-way player in the outfield like Bellinger.

This is Bellinger's last chance at a big, long-term deal. It would make sense for him to prioritize the best offer, even if he prefers to stay in Chicago.

Mooney did say Bellinger will, "strongly," consider Chicago's best offer, and points out that the Cubs will receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere so long as Chicago makes him a qualifying offer. So, they won't see him walk for absolutely nothing.

Chicago should try, but they need to have a backup plan ready.

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