Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Friedman Reveals Cody Bellinger’s Reaction to Non-Tender Decision

Friday was the deadline for organizations to decide whether or not they will tender or non-tender their eligible players.

The off-season question was, “Will Cody Bellinger be a Dodger in 2023?” Even though LA could sign him back, the chances of that look dim. Ultimately, 70 players were non-tendered, and Belli was one of them.

LA Times columnist Jorge Castillo noted that Freidman called Belli to be the bearer of bad news and said he took it well.

“On Friday, Friedman called Bellinger to tell him the bad news. He noted Bellinger was a “total pro” and a “class act” during their conversation, an unfathomable conclusion to a tenure that reached rarefied heights just three years ago.”

Who would have thought that Cody would ever be non-tendered? It’s sad to see the downfall of Belli, from winning Rookie of the Year and NL MVP in 2019 to becoming one of the worst hitters in the Major Leagues in the past three seasons.

Injuries have a ton to do with it, so it’s not like he forgot how to play baseball, and he is still a tremendous defender.

However, his bat has been a liability, and the question remains if he can become a solid batter.
In the past three seasons, Cody has a batting average of .203 and an OPS of .648. In Cody’s MVP season, he slugged .629 and had an OPS of 1.035.

Even though he had a slightly better 2022 compared to his 2021 campaign, it still wasn’t enough, and Freidman ultimately had to make the tough decision to make Belli a free agent.

Bellinger can still sign with the Dodgers, but the likely hood of that is small.

Glad to know that Cody took the news like a champ, and it’ll be interesting to see what he’ll do next.

Ricardo Sandoval

Born and Raised in the East side of Los Angeles. Ricardo is a staff writer at Dodgers Nation and on the LA Sports Report network of sites. He's also a lifelong Dodgers and Lakers fan. Ricardo is an alumnus of CSUN (Go Matadors).


  1. Good that he took it well, but hard to imagine he’d be surprised. Disappointed yes, surprised no. He’s not come across as a hothead that I’ve seen and I’m sure he knows much better than we do what his stats are for the past few years. Not that everyone takes the high road, but kudos to Cody and I’d have expected nothing less from him. And I hope he does well with the Dodgers or elsewhere.

  2. With the banning of the defensive shift, Bellinger will increase his batting average by .050, going from .209 to .259. Minimum. Friedman should have tried to sign him to a 2-year deal to confirm this happens…

  3. His agent is Scott Boras the money agent so i feel Coty will go else where Hope a change helps him or he accepts a one year Dodger conty

  4. Amazing what’s happened over the years when players are set to become come free agents. With a change of scenery, listening to a coach that positions his bat properly, Boras breathing down his neck and the removal of the shift, Belli could very well go down as yet another Andy blunder.

  5. The Dodgers have taken care of you Beli. Take 5 million or so with incentives and prove everyone wrong.

  6. Take a 1 year deal with the Dodgers for less money and prove to them and yourself that you’re that MVP.

  7. It all seemed to start with that ridiculous celebration after a homerun in the playoffs a few years ago. He slammed arms with somebody and wrecked his shoulder. He wasn’t the first to do something stupid like that (was it Benjie Molina who hurt his leg jumping on home plate to celebrate a walk off homerun?), and he won’t be the last. I really like the way Bellinger plays the outfield, and love his swing when it is right. It’s hard to overcome the fact that he has struggled at the plate for most of 3 seasons. I’d like to see him turn it around in a Dodger uniform.

    1. That is Kendrys Morales you’re thinking of that broke his ankle on the walk off. The Bellinger arm bump with Kike Hernandez just expedited the inevitable. Bellinger’s shoulder would chronically dislocate due to a previous injury and he was going to need to have it surgically repaired anyway. For whatever reason he can’t or won’t go back to the stance that he used during the first half of 2019. I think he could get to the .240-.250 range with 25-30 HR’s. He’ll always strikeout a lot but given his age and his fielding ability—guys that have Gold Glove potential at all three outfield positions and 1B don’t grow on trees—I would have kept him, but I wasn’t consulted.

      1. Yes, you’re right that Cody already had a bad shoulder that kept popping out often, just that celebration damaged it completely. He should have known better. Yea, the first half of his 2019 MVP year was phenomenal until pitchers found a hole in his long looping swing. Remember his second half was just so-so, but his defense was still solid, making his overall numbers just beating out Yelich. He tried changing his swing at the start of 2020 to adjust to what the league was doing to him, then the shoulder surgery, all contributed to mess with his confidence in playing his game.

  8. Anyone who has this idea of he is only a good coach away or he can turn it around. I suggest going back and watching his at bats. 3 seasons is a long time. A professional hitter should be able to turn it around in a 3 year span. If you can’t figure it out then you don’t belong in the MLB. Defensive wise yes he can go get them but at a 19mil to 20+ mil a year deal which is what he will be looking to get for a defensive outfielder who hits 8th in ur order? I don’t think many teams will be chomping at the bit for that. If that were the case and people felt like he was capable then he’d already have a deal in place and boras would’ve drove him personally to sign it. Let’s not forget that bellinger before being called to the bigs wasn’t a guy known for his high batting g average. He was a big swing and miss guy all throughout his minor league days and his athletic ability combined with his power potential is what got him the attention. And a well timed injury to a guy named Adrian gonzalez opened a rather wide home at first base and he was able to slide into it and the rest was history. Think he was batting around .240 at okc when he got called up. But he had 17-20 fingers. Left handed 1st baseball with pop…..but MLB pitching is good. And scouting is a thing. People getpaidto figure out how to stop you from doing what u do….these things happen and many careers come and go simply because of this ….it’s actually more common than u think. Judging by his at bats and the fact the dodgers have an abundance of top tier coaches at his disposal to correct this issue and it’s not gotten betteg is pretty much what it is. I think we’ve seen the best of belli and his asking price is out of our comfort zone. Thank u for your service but you were paid well for that service and over the last 3 years our patience was given and you came up short on your end. I think it’s a good move and we avoid getting caught up in a multi year deal that down the road ends up bei g a complete burden when u can’t offload it.

  9. Blame the over-slamming of arms on Kike’ Hernandez. I don’t think CB was expecting it to be that hard and you can see him wincing on the rerun of that moment.

  10. He is already drawing interest from teams who are also offering multi-year deals. He only wants a one-year deal so he can re-enter the free agent market. This sounds like a player who believes in himself. He will be better, major league talent doesn’t just disappear.

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