‘$300 million is not impossible.
The Chicago Cubs’ Cody Bellinger is writing some serious reverse drama. With four weeks to go until the end of the season, Bellinger has been firing on all cylinders and boosting his stock.
Bellinger batted leadoff in the No. 4 spot against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday at Great American Ball Park, going 2-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs and one run scored in a 15-7 victory.
At 73-64, the Cubs remained in sole possession of second place in the NL Central and the second wild-card spot. They have a 3.5-game lead over the third wild-card spot Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins. Fangraphs gives the Cubs a 69.9 percent chance of making the playoffs.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Bellinger’s bat has been the driving force behind the Cubs’ surge into fall baseball, as they were five to seven games out of first place as recently as July 18. Bellinger missed a month with a knee injury. After returning on June 16, Bellinger slowly built up his power, and by July, he was back to his 2019 MVP form.
On this day, Bellinger came through with key hits at every juncture. After leading off the first inning with a single up the middle to put runners on first and third, Bellinger went to the plate in the top of the sixth, trailing 3-4, and crushed a two-pitch 81-mph sweeper from left-hander Chasen Shreve over the center field fence for a solo shot to tie the game at 4-4. In the eighth, with the bases loaded and a 9-5 lead, he added an RBI with a sacrifice fly to left field.
In his first four games of September, he batted .412 (17-for-7) with three home runs and seven RBIs.
As of today, Bellinger is batting .320 (130-for-406) with 23 home runs, 84 RBI, 79 runs scored, and a .916 OPS, ranking fourth in the NL in batting average, tied for 20th in home runs, 12th in RBI, 14th in runs scored, and fifth in NL OPS. In the second half alone, he hit .346 with 14 homers, 55 RBIs, and a .998 OPS in 48 games. That’s third in batting average, sixth in home runs, first in RBIs, and sixth in OPS in the second half.
Bellinger, who became a free agent after being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers last winter, signed a one-year deal with the Cubs. At this rate, he’ll likely pick up his $12.5 million mutual option for next year after this season and hit free agency.
He is expected to be the second highest-paid player in free agency, behind only Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), according to local media. That’s at least $200 million, but his agent, Scott Boras, could be looking for 10 years and $300 million. The Dodgers released him as a non-tender because they didn’t want to pay him the $17 million minimum, but he’s now a $30 million-a-year player 안전놀이터.
“Demand is always created from scarcity,” Boras told USA Today on March 28. “When you have a five-tool player with a high level of skill at a young age who can hit, run and power bat as a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder and first baseman, it’s a rare commodity in the major leagues.” “The demand for that kind of player is very high,” he said.
“The Cubs, San Francisco, San Diego Padres, and New York Yankees are among the teams that will be aggressively pursuing Bellinger,” the outlet’s Bob Nightingale reported, adding, “His price will be very high. He could command more than $200 million and possibly $300 million.
Obviously, Boras would likely lead negotiations with $300 million as a base. That’s why he played it safe and signed a one-year deal last winter.