MLB Rumors: Cody Bellinger could rub salt in Dodgers’ wound in free agency

Cubs star Cody Bellinger has been playing himself into a fine payday this offseason and could stick it to his ex-team, the Dodgers, based on what free agent destination he chooses.
Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs
Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger will enter the offseason as the top free agent behind only Shohei Ohtani, and chances are he'll get his pick of what team he wants to join for 2024.

There's always a chance the Cubs could re-sign him, especially if his other suitors enter an all-out bidding war for Ohtani. Barring external factors, Bellinger's top two outside suitors happen to be the Dodgers' biggest rivals: the Giants and the Yankees, per's Mark Feinsand.

That'd be one way to stick it to his former franchise.

Bellinger spent six seasons with the Dodgers before signing a one-year, $17.5 million contract with the Cubs prior to the 2023 season. The 2019 NL MVP took a massive bet on himself and won, producing this year at the rate of his past All-Star seasons in L.A.

Bellinger cooled off from 2020 onward with the Dodgers, causing the franchise to non-tender him after the 2022 season. Nearly one year later, there doesn't seem to be much bad blood between the two sides, but if Bellinger really wanted to rub salt in the Dodgers' wound, he could.

Cody Bellinger's top suitors include two Dodgers rivals: the Giants and the Yankees

Feinsand's predictions for Bellinger's offseason landing spots echo those of USA Today's Bob Nightengale, who also said he believes the Giants and Yankees, among a few other teams, will lead the market for the star outfielder.

As FanSided's Josh Wilson writes, Bellinger's decision could come down to what he wants, beyond the money issue. In what could be Bellinger's last major multi-year deal of his career, he may opt to stay in Chicago where he's found his groove and the confidence to get his career back on track.

Then again, the Giants may be willing to pay more, especially after losing him to the Cubs the first time Bellinger hit free agency.

The Yankees are also in play since Bellinger's dad played there -- it could certainly be a touching, full circle moment for Bellinger to end his career where his dad started his.

Or maybe Cody Bellinger just wants to make a personal and vindictive statement to his former team that left him on the curb once things started going downhill. As the saying goes, if they couldn't love him at his worst, they don't deserve him at his best.

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