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Cody Bellinger’s agent provides update as offseason begins

8 months agoAndy Martinez

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Scott Boras is known nearly as much for his puns and one-liners as he is for his savvy dealings as an agent.

Wednesday morning at the Omni Resort, he delivered a peak quick hitter on his player and free agent, Cody Bellinger.

“When he came to Chicago, he just feasted on major league pitching,” Boras began. “And really, I think Chicago got the comforts of a full ‘Belli.’ So, they’re gonna have to loosen their belts to keep Bellinger.”

It’s no secret both the Cubs and Bellinger enjoyed a fruitful partnership in 2023: Bellinger had a bounce back year after struggling in Los Angeles from 2020 to 2022 and the Cubs’ offense was at its best with him in the lineup.

The Cubs were 68-60 when Bellinger was in the starting lineup and he led the team in homers (26), RBI (97), batting average (.307), slugging percentage (.525) and OPS (.881) while playing very good defense at two positions (center field and first base).

He was comfortable in Chicago, fitting in seamlessly with the rest of the clubhouse and working well with the coaching staff.

So, does that mean there’s some advantage for the Cubs in the Bellinger sweepstakes?

“Well, Cody did have a great experience in Chicago,” Boras said. “But where Cody can play and play well, he feels he can play well anywhere. And a lot of this has to do with ownership. It has to do with their commitment, it has to do with their vision of what they’re going to do to develop the other track to do the things that are necessary to make this club a continual winner over a long period of time.”

Bellinger will be a hot commodity this offseason with plenty of parties looking to “loosen their belts,” to borrow a phrase from Boras.

“I think Bellinger’s a fit with most teams because he’s a Gold Glove type first baseman, centerfielder, can play four positions, hit in the middle of a lineup, provide power,” Boras said. “I wouldn’t know any team that wouldn’t want that.”

The Cubs know that if they want to contend again in 2024, they’ll need to replicate Bellinger’s production in the lineup — either from him or a combination of players replacing him.

“We’d love to bring him back,” Jed Hoyer said at his end-of-season press conference. “But in a world where that’s somewhat uncertain, we do have to figure out a way to replace that offensively.”  

There might not be a quick resolution on Bellinger’s status — one way or another. Teams are just now beginning the early interaction period with agents, and it could be some time before free agents, let alone big ones like Bellinger, begin to come off the board in earnest.

Boras is in the early phases, too — maybe his one-liners change around Winter Meetings when negotiations could really be heating up. After all, Bellinger agreed to terms with the Cubs at that time last season.

“Our position on that is that Cody’s told me to look at the full gamut of the major leagues,” he said. Listen to everybody, and he’ll make his decisions from there.”

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