Scott Boras hints at huge spend needed if the Cubs want to keep Cody Bellinger in Chicago
Bellinger, who signed with the Cubs on a one-year deal last year, proved he could recapture his All-Star form after years of languishing following winning an MVP with the Dodgers. His career started with four straight 100-plus OPS+ seasons, only to follow with a 44 and 81, two extremely bad seasons at the plate in 2021 and 2022. With the Cubs, he got back to a 133 (.881 OPS) with a slash line of .307/.356/.525.
Bellinger was electric at Wrigley and had the front office wishing they had signed on for more years. Instead, to keep him, they'll have to barter with a number of other teams, certain to drive his price up. Spotrac projects him above $22 million, annually.
"You have a lot of options for him. When he went to Chicago, he feasted on major league pitching. Chicago got the comforts of a full Belli, so the Cubs are going to have to loosen their belts to keep Bellinger."
"Loosen their belts," I think, translates to, "Pay up. Big time." I'm not totally certain, though, I'm not fluent in Boras.
To have to pay up to keep him is to be expected. After Bellinger took complete advantage of a one-year prove-it deal to restore his MLB reputation, he'll have plenty of suitors in an offseason where outfielders are among the most desirable position group in free agency. He's earned it.
Boras gets his clients paid by any means necessary. One of the major Cubs storylines is whether or not he stays in Chicago or gets lured away by a big paycheck elsewhere. Certainly, Boras and Bellinger will be open to a reunion... Price depending.