Cody Bellinger Signs Three-Year, $80 Million Deal with Chicago Cubs

Cody Bellinger will return to the Chicago Cubs after agreeing to terms on a three-year, $80 million contract, The Associated Press has learned. a source familiar with the agreement.

Posted at 4:08 p.m.

Jay Cohen

Associated Press

The powerful slugger can terminate the contract after each of the first two seasons according to the same source, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Sunday, because Bellinger must first undergo medical examinations.

If he takes this step, Bellinger will receive 30 million this season, 30 million also in 2025 if he remains with the Cubs, and 20 million in 2026 if he agrees to extend his career with the formation of the State of Illinois.

Bellinger was one of five big-name free agents represented by agent Scott Boras who had not signed new deals by the time major league baseball training camps began.

Third baseman Matt Chapman, who spent the last two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, pitchers Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery as well as designated hitter JD Martinez remain available.

Back healthy after years marred by injuries, Bellinger has rediscovered the form that made him one of major league baseball’s biggest stars early in his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 130 games in 2023, he posted a career-best .307 batting average with 26 home runs, 97 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.

The 28-year-old Bellinger helped the Cubs rise to playoff contention before the team hit a slump in September.

During a streak of 45 games, between August 1 and September 19, Bellinger scored 48 points.

“He’s part of this team. He is one of us. There was a little something missing here, for sure, before he came back,” pitcher Kyle Hendricks told reporters at the team’s training complex in Arizona.

“Just seeing him here, getting a hug, seeing him smile. I know he’ll be back to work soon. But yes, to see his body, his face here, it was fantastic. »

Bellinger also helped the Cubs with his versatility on defense. In 2019, he won a Gold Glove for his performance in center field, and he also excels at first base. He is expected to start the season in center field, giving Cubs prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong more time to develop.

“The impact that [Bellinger] had on our group last year personality-wise, versatility-wise, and, of course, his ability to produce at a high level has launched our team and put us in a position to experience some success last year,” Dansby Swanson said from Arizona.

A fourth-round pick of the Dodgers in 2013, Bellinger began his career in the Major Leagues in 2017. With the Dodgers, he hit 39 home runs and earned the National League Rookie of the Year award.

In 2019, he was named his team’s most valuable player in the National League thanks to a .305 batting average, 47 home runs and 115 RBIs in 156 games.

The Dodgers won the World Series in 2020 and Bellinger has been at the heart of the team’s success, whose last triumph in the fall classic was in 1988. In 18 playoff games in 2020, Bellinger hit four home runs and drove in 13 points.

After his brilliant 2019 campaign, Bellinger began to be bothered by injuries. In November 2020, he had surgery on his right shoulder and during the following season, he had to settle for a career-worst .165 average in 95 games.

The Dodgers ended their association with Bellinger in November 2022 after he was limited to a .210 average, with 19 homers and 150 strikeouts in 144 games with the California team.

2024-02-25 21:08:37
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