Former NL MVP cody Bellinger has agreed to a one-year, $17.5 million deal with the Cubs, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Vinsand Tuesday night. The club has not confirmed the move.
Bellinger put together a stellar 2019 season for the Dodgers on his way to MVP in the National League — but he’s struggled in the three seasons since. After hitting .305 with a 1.035 OPS and 47 homers in his MVP-winning campaign, Bellinger hit just .203 with a 0.648 OPS and 41 homers in the past three years combined.
The 27-year-old Bellinger showed some flashes of his former success in 2022, hitting 19 home runs and 14 stolen bases. He also recorded above-average seven oots as the everyday center fielder for a Dodgers team that won 111 MLB games. Bellinger’s seven OAA’s are tied for third by any NL quarterback.
However, Bellinger hopes to rediscover the form that made him one of the game’s best players during his first three seasons in the league. He burst onto the scene in 2017, hitting 39 home runs in just 132 games on his way to being named NL Rookie of the Year.
Bellinger followed that up with a 25-player season while playing all 162 games in 2018 – and went on to win the NLCS MVP award during the postseason. He then put together his career year in ’19, earning his second All-Star selection, his first Gold Glove Award and his first Silver Slugger in the process.
His struggles began in a pandemic-shortened 2020 season before injuries derailed him in ’21. He had three stints on the injured list in ’21, missing nearly two months due to a broken left tibia, and another two weeks due to tight left hamstring And another 10 days with a left rib fracture.
After a mostly healthy 2022 season, Bellinger will be looking to start working in ’23.
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