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Dodgers Done With Cody Bellinger? Will LA Bring Him Back? Potential Replacements?

One of the bigger storylines for the Dodgers this offseason is regarding their former MVP centerfielder, Cody Bellinger.

Bellinger, a fourth-round pick by the Dodgers in 2013, has played in LA for all six years of his career, but this partnership could be coming to an end as soon as this offseason.




Bellinger, who appeared to be one of baseball’s best up-and-coming stars in 2019, has appeared to be a shell of his former self ever since.

After being benched in Game 4 of the NLDS with a right-hander on the mound, it was easy to wonder if Bellinger’s career in LA was finished.

The experts here at Dodgers Nation took to the roundtable to speak about Bellinger, and made a case for both keeping him, and letting him walk. We also made our predictions on what the team will do.

Bellinger is one of the longest-tenured Dodgers and has been a fan favorite ever since he debuted in 2017. It’s hard to imagine a Dodgers team without him manning center field, but it’ll be interesting to see what the team decides to do this offseason.

The former All-Star has hit just .203 with a .648 OPS since the start of the 2020 season and has been even worse since his 2020-2021 offseason shoulder surgery with the average at a paltry .193 with a .611 OPS over 239 games.

Do you think the Dodgers should bring Bellinger back? And if not, who do you think should be the team’s starting center fielder next season? Let us know in the comments below!

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NEXT: Analysis Shows What Really Broke Cody Bellinger’s Swing

Noah Camras

Noah is an Associate Staff Writer for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan since he was a kid, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin — but Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are very quickly making a case to be on that list.

22 Comments

  1. Belli has struggled the last 3 years, he’s still good but not $17,000,000 a year

  2. Time for Outman to take over? Trayce and C. Taylor provide righty options since they love to move pieces around.

  3. Don’t do anything with Cody until you have Judge in the bag. You can move Mookey to center if that happens and Cody becomes tradable or what ever. If not, you keep the best defensive center fielder in either league and get him the hitting coach he needs. If you do give up on him, it’s for damn sure another team will scoop him up and find a way to make him offensively productive again.

  4. I’ll leave it to smarter people thanI to decide whether they believe that what’s ailing Belli can be fixed. If so, we should continue to work with him, though not start him until we want to test out if progress has been made. I like Judge in RF, Betts in CF. Who wouldn’t?

  5. There’s no way the Dodgers tender a contract to Belli and put themselves on the hook for a $17-$18 million salary. But I could see then negotiating a deal for much less. If Belli doesn’t want to take a pay cut he can move on. His defense still makes him of value to the team–just not at $17-18 million per.

  6. Belli’s defensive skills are strong. The trouble is, he can’t hit his way out of a paper sandwich bag. Tendering Belli above $10 million is too high. Move Betts to CF, Aaron Judge in RF and Trayce Thompson to LF.

  7. I love Belli, too. But Mendoza batting average doesn’t cut it in the Big Leagues. But they won 111 games with him. We’ll see!

  8. The Ohtani, Trout or even Judge talk is a pipe dream at best. I’d structure a deal for 3 years with Bellinger with the third year being the most lucrative and at team option. The Dodgers won 111 games with him as the primary CF. How many wins do we expect?

  9. Offer him half of what he’s earning now for his defense and running skills. The other half will be incentive heavy for the offensive categories e.g., title’s in batting average, RBI’s, HR’s, lowest MLB strikeout percentage, highest OBP, Triple Crown Winner, Sliver Slugger Award, or MVP Award. Take it or leave it. Need to challenge yourself or be a wasted talent.

  10. If he doesn’t change his batting stance into more of a crouch like lefties Freeman, Muncy & Lux, then “fire him” – ship him off to the Siberian Tundra team for all I care – with that frozen lumberjack strance he’s too stubborn to try something new..

  11. A Replacement level player equal to or better than Bellinger at $700,000 would free up $17 million for other purposes.

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