Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
In a development that would have seemed impossible just a few seasons ago, after another lowly offensive year at the plate, 2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger wound up getting non-tendered by the Los Angeles Dodgers to end a disappointing 2022.
Across 144 games in his sixth season, Bellinger hit just .210/.265/.389 with 27 doubles, 19 home runs and 68 RBI. That was despite optimism that he would make more of a recovery from shoulder surgery and being further removed from a fractured fibula and rib.
Even with Bellinger enduring another inconsistent season and reaching free agency one year earlier than anticipated, the Dodgers had interest in re-signing him. However, Bellinger developed a robust market and wound up signing a one-year, $12.5 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.
Bellinger’s agent, Scott Boras, said his client received multi-year contract offers but was intent on signing for just one year in order to re-establish value. Bellinger’s contract with the Cubs includes a mutual option for 2024 and $5 million buyout.
Although Bellinger will always be regarded as a prominent member of the Dodgers organization, the final year’s of his tenure with L.A. will also be marked by inconsistency.
Bellinger’s final moments in a Dodgers uniform include getting benched against the San Francisco Giants in Game 4 of the NL Division Series.
Cody Bellinger 2022 highlight
Arguably his biggest hit of the season, Bellinger delivered an electrifying go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants on July 22.
Despite only going 1-for-4 that night at the plate, his grand slam, which propelled the Dodgers to a 5-1 victory, gave L.A. their sixth win in a row at the time thanks to Bellinger’s frenzy-ensuing blast.
2023 player outlook
Now a member of the Cubs, who finished third in the NL Central in 2022 with a 74-88 record, Bellinger is set to begin a stint of play with his second Major League organization.
While Bellinger was evidently thankful for his time with the Dodgers, perhaps a change is exactly what the left-handed slugger needs to find his footing again at the plate.
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