Cubs teammate goes to bat for Cody Bellinger over free agency saga

Spring training is underway, yet Cody Bellinger remains unsigned. Cubs star Ian Happ vouched for Bellinger on Wednesday as the free agency saga continued.

Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

Last season, Cody Bellinger enjoyed a bounce-back campaign with the Chicago Cubs and even earned Comeback Player of the Year honors in the National League.

Unfortunately, that hasn't translated into him ending up with a large free agent contract this offseason. Spring training is underway, yet Bellinger remains unsigned due to what has been a very slow offseason.

And Bellinger isn't the only major free agent still unsigned. Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, Matt Chapman, J.D. Martinez, and others are still out there.

On Wednesday, Cubs star Ian Happ discussed Bellinger's situation and defended him amidst what has likely been a stressful process.

"He's not the first guy to go through it that way. There's plenty of guys that have gone late into spring training," Happ said. "That's the way the market shaped up this year. For them, it's the way they've chosen to do it. There's nothing wrong with that."

Cubs Ian Happ defends Cody Bellinger amid free agency saga

Happ was almost a part of this year's free agent class but ultimately signed an extension with the Cubs.

However, the Cubs star clearly understands that this has been a difficult process for Bellinger and hopes that when the dust settles, Bellinger is back in a Cubs uniform.

The Cubs would be able to compete for an NL Central title if Bellinger is added in addition to Shota Imanaga, Hector Neris, Yency Almonte, and Michael Busch.

The 28-year-old hit .307 with 26 home runs and 97 RBI while also posting an .881 OPS.

This offseason has been eerily similar to the 2018 and 2019 offseasons, when the market moved slowly, and free agency stretched into spring training.

That has ultimately come to fruition yet again, and it may be a while before Bellinger signs a deal. It's possible that he may end up taking a shorter-term deal.