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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Former MVP Bellinger agrees to deal with Cubs

Former NL MVP Award winner Cody Bellinger has agreed to a one-year, $17.5 million deal with the Cubs, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand on Tuesday night. The club has not confirmed the move.

Bellinger put together a remarkable 2019 season for the Dodgers en route to being named the National League MVP—but he’s struggled in the three seasons since. After hitting .305 with a 1.035 OPS and 47 home runs in his MVP-winning campaign, Bellinger has hit just .203 with a .648 OPS and 41 homers in the past three years combined.

The 27-year-old Bellinger showed some flashes of his past success in 2022, racking up 19 home runs and 14 stolen bases. He also recorded seven Outs Above Average as the everyday center fielder for a Dodgers team that won an MLB-high 111 games. Bellinger’s seven OAA were tied for the third most by any NL center fielder.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2022 at 06:35 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cody bellinger, cubs

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   1. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: December 06, 2022 at 06:38 PM (#6108346)
Perfect risk for the Cubs to take. No bad 1 year contracts, especially for a team with this much money to spend. He should be the everyday CF until either he proves he can't hit at all or Brennan Davis is ready. He still provides value with his defense and baserunning, and if he gets back to form, it's gravy.
   2. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: December 06, 2022 at 06:41 PM (#6108348)
Someone already had to be the one to piss in the punch bowl:

Matthew Pouliot @matthewpouliot ·21m
Cody Bellinger last three years: .203/.272/.376
Jason Heyward last three years: .224/.310/.358
   3. reech Posted: December 06, 2022 at 06:47 PM (#6108350)
See?
I just don't get how $17.5 goes to a guy who has sucked for years and appears washed up.
A guy like that should be on a prove it deal for 7 million.

The Cubs just pissed away 10 million dollars.

Understanding the old "potential to come back" angle, they got plenty of youngsters they should be playing. At least if they pan out, they'll still be affordable in 2024.
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 06, 2022 at 06:51 PM (#6108352)
we had a discussion about him a couple weeks ago, because I said I didn't remember any player cliffing so young--several posters cited various injuries as the reason for his rather unprecedented decline--OPS+ 167--> 112--> 44 from ages 23-25
   5. salvomania Posted: December 06, 2022 at 06:54 PM (#6108353)
If he can get the bat back he'd be a nice mid-season trade chit to a contending team.
   6. Cooper Teenoh Posted: December 06, 2022 at 06:55 PM (#6108354)
Re 2: Someone should explain to @matthewpouliot that this is the reason Cody’s not getting either 8 years or $184 million.

Meanwhile, on MLB Network radio Ryan Spillborghs is saying this is a bad deal because as he understands it free agents are worth “$5-6 million per WAR”, and Cody isn’t going to put up a 3.5 WAR season.

Brilliant punditry abounds!

If Bellinger can repeat even last year’s performance, offensively and defensively, he’ll be worth this contract or close enough that it’s not worth noticing. And considering that the in-house options were all likely negative WAR players, he’s an easy call for CF.
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: December 06, 2022 at 06:58 PM (#6108355)
I just don't get how $17.5 goes to a guy who has sucked for years and appears washed up.
A guy like that should be on a prove it deal for 7 million.


I would wager that there were several teams willing to go 10 mil or so. The added value that he brings as a trade chip if he has a return to any form has to be appealing to any non-contending team. The Cubs with payroll excess probably just decided to not wait it out with a slow bidding war and just to get this over so they can then worry about other things.
   8. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 06, 2022 at 07:19 PM (#6108360)
Perfect risk for the Cubs to take. No bad 1 year contracts, especially for a team with this much money to spend.


I don't really think there is any risk for the Cubs either, but there's also no real reward. The best they can hope for is that while he plays well, the team is bad enough that they can trade him early in the season, maximizing his trade value.


If Bellinger can repeat even last year’s performance, offensively and defensively, he’ll be worth this contract or close enough that it’s not worth noticing.

Unless you are really resetting the WAR/$ value I don't see how he will be worth his contract by putting up a 1.5 WAR season.
   9. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 06, 2022 at 07:27 PM (#6108363)
The Cubs just pissed away 10 million dollars.


Is it your money? I doubt they were going to spend it somewhere else.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: December 06, 2022 at 07:29 PM (#6108365)
Unless you are really resetting the WAR/$ value I don't see how he will be worth his contract by putting up a 1.5 WAR season.


Contrary to the comment by Ryan Spillborghs, 1 war is closer to 8-9mil not 5-6mil, if I remember correctly.


Looking it up. Boardroom??? never heard of it, lists it at 5mil

Per Fangraphs it's 8.5mil, while 2021 it was 5.5mil.
I'll take Fangraphs evaluation.

So roughly 12-13 mil is what 1.5 war is worth on the open market.


   11. The Duke Posted: December 06, 2022 at 07:30 PM (#6108366)
He feels a lot like Yelich to me. Traumatic injury. Horrible first season after injury, so-so next season and then a breakout. I think this a a great deal for Cubbies as they are trying to lure more talent and Bellinger gets to hit in the cozy confines and in Pittsburgh and cincy. That ought to help his HR totals.

If he had a good year, I could see him being the Cubs permanent guy for 7-10 years. I'm bullish on Bellinger. I don't think someone that talented can lose it so young unless he has some form of Steve Blass disease.
   12. The Duke Posted: December 06, 2022 at 07:32 PM (#6108368)
8. Wade Miley was a terrible one year contract. Broken down pitcher who no one wanted on the waiver wire and the cubs gave him $10 milllion. $10 million here, $10 million there and you start talking about real money.
   13. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 06, 2022 at 07:38 PM (#6108372)
If he had a good year, I could see him being the Cubs permanent guy for 7-10 years.


Sure, he could sign with the Cubs after 2023, or sign an in-season extension I guess, but it's going to be at market rate.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2022 at 07:43 PM (#6108375)
If he had a good year, I could see him being the Cubs permanent guy for 7-10 years. I'm bullish on Bellinger. I don't think someone that talented can lose it so young unless he has some form of Steve Blass disease.

Why? They don't control him beyond this year, correct?

Maybe he was never that talented. His ISO in 2019 screams fluke. Unless he's been hurt for three years, and can somehow find a way to get healthy, I'm bearish. It looks like his physical tools have diminished greatly. K-rate up, BB-t=rate down, ISO way down. EV isn't good, hard hit % and barrels are poor. There's not much to hang a bullish projection on.
   15. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 06, 2022 at 07:56 PM (#6108381)
His ISO in 2019 screams fluke.

The one that's all of 10 points higher than his ISO in 2017?
   16. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 06, 2022 at 08:18 PM (#6108383)
His ISO in 2019 screams fluke.

The one that's all of 10 points higher than his ISO in 2017?

wellll---his ISOs from age 21 to now: .315 .210 .324 .216 .137 .179
   17. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: December 06, 2022 at 08:30 PM (#6108385)
Understanding the old "potential to come back" angle, they got plenty of youngsters they should be playing.

Such as.....who? Going into this offseason, the Cubs had holes at 1b, 2b, 3b, C, CF, and maybe DH. I think guys like Morel and Velazquez are interesting, but I don't think you really pencil either as a full time start anywhere yet (maybe Morel, but he can play all over so he gets what's left). None of the position player prospects outside of that are expected to be ready beginning of next year (expect for Mervis, and he's really a big question mark). This doesn't block anyone.

I don't really think there is any risk for the Cubs either, but there's also no real reward. The best they can hope for is that while he plays well, the team is bad enough that they can trade him early in the season, maximizing his trade value.

In spite of what I said earlier in this post, I really don't think the Cubs are that far off from being back in the WC race. With the right moves this offseason, they're right back in it. False hope perhaps, but the best case here isn't that. The reward is he plays well, likes it here, and perhaps sticks around; he could be the first part of a number of moves that push the Cubs into the playoff race. That's the reward.

Is it your money? I doubt they were going to spend it somewhere else.

If they don't, I'll be pissed. But I surely expect them to spend plenty of money this offseason.
   18. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 06, 2022 at 09:16 PM (#6108392)
wellll---his ISOs from age 21 to now: .315 .210 .324 .216 .137 .179

I mean, sure. All I'm saying is that 2019 wasn't a completely isolated season; he had another one that suggested it was a possibility.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: December 07, 2022 at 01:29 AM (#6108425)
"The Cubs have agreed to a four-year, $68MM deal with right-handed starter Jameson Taillon, according to Jesse Rogers and Jeff Passan of ESPN. Taillon was one of the top remaining options on the starting pitching market."
   20. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: December 07, 2022 at 08:36 AM (#6108437)
...So roughly 12-13 mil is what 1.5 war is worth on the open market.

irrespective of bellinger...
i think there's been a little bit of an reevaluation as to how linearly to apply $/war on an individual contract level - you can expect to pay less for the first WAR* than for subsequent ones. given scarcity (and lack tereof for above replacement but below average players) this makes sense to me.

as for bellinger, this is paying for variance. i wouldn't do it, but i get it.
   21. God can’t be all that impressed with Charles S. Posted: December 07, 2022 at 10:17 AM (#6108474)
The success of the Cubs off-season still hangs on signing one of the four (now three) available shortstops. Unfortunately, it looks as if they are going to punt at catcher, but two starters (Taillon + I don't know, the return of Smyly?) and short term bridges at CF and 1B to go along with that SS make the Cubs a contender in the Central. I am satisfied with Bellinger as one of those bridges. With Davis and Canario hurt, and PCA at least a year away, he's blocking no one.
   22. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: December 07, 2022 at 11:08 AM (#6108491)
He feels a lot like Yelich to me. Traumatic injury. Horrible first season after injury, so-so next season and then a breakout.


Yelich hasn't really bounced back post-kneecap injury, with OPS+ of 110, 101, 111 since than. Granted, that is far better than Bellinger over the same time frame, but not even as good as Yelich hit as a Marlin.

Link to SI article that I found while Googling exactly when Yelich got injured.

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