If Cody Bellinger no longer has a future with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where are three potential destinations for the former Rookie of the Year and MVP to call home in 2023 and beyond?
It is a distinct possibility that the 27-year-old Bellinger could be looking for a new home after Friday’s non-tender deadline (set for 8 p.m. Eastern time). With a projected salary topping $18 million for 2023 and back-to-back disappointing seasons for the Dodgers (combined .193/.256/.355 slash line in 900 plate appearances over his last 239 games), it’s possible Los Angeles moves on from Bellinger, despite all of the hardware he has accumulated over in his six-year MLB career.
UPDATE: Bellinger was non-tendered, so he is officially a free agent.
If that’s the case, which three teams might make sense for Bellinger and why? Let’s look at some options.
Toronto Blue Jays would make sense for Cody Bellinger
The Blue Jays have been looking for a left-handed bat in the outfield since they made last season’s trade for Raimel Tapia. With Tapia designated for assignment earlier in the month, that quest continues in Toronto.
Bellinger could be given the chance for a fresh start in the American League and be thrown right back in the chase for a World Series, a chase where his postseason experience might pay dividends in the clubhouse and on the field. The Blue Jays could use his bat in the lineup … provided he can overcome the issues that plagued him the last two seasons in Los Angeles (including a 26.9 and 27.3 percent strikeout rate in 2021 and 2022, respectively).
Toronto will spend money this offseason and the Jays have shaken up the outfield already this offseason. Will they spend that money on Bellinger?