If the Chicago Cubs want to bring back Cody Bellinger, it will likely cost them. Bellinger's reported asking price is as high as $250 million. Perhaps Scott Boras is merely hoping to start the bidding high, but an agreement of that magnitude seems unlikely at this juncture.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Bellinger's expected asking price, also noting that rival executives do not expect him to sign anytime soon.
Bellinger had a tremendous 2023 season, but he's also just a year removed from signing a prove-it deal with the Chicago Cubs. As recently as last offseason some wondered if Bellinger would ever regain his MVP form from his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers. While last season should earn him good will around baseball that he is, in fact, back, you'll have to forgive interest suitors from balking at a ripe $250 million. That's a lot of money for a player not far removed from falling off a cliff statistically.
MLB Rumors: Will the Chicago Cubs meet Cody Bellinger's asking price?
The New York Yankees are among the favorites for Bellinger as of this writing, but a Cubs return looms as a realistic possibility. If the Yankees drive up the asking price enough, though, Bellinger will be theirs. Unfortunately for Bellinger, however, he doesn't have much bargaining power at the beginning of the MLB Winter Meetings as contenders sort out their offseason plans.
The Cubs remain in on Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, among others. The Yankees are reportedly interested in a Juan Soto trade. Until both of those players are off the market, Bellinger is far from the best player available, and therefore there's very little reason for any team to overpay for his services.
This includes Chicago, which knows Bellinger on a long-term deal is a calculated risk.