Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: LA Still Mulling Over Cody Bellinger’s Contract

One of the biggest questions the Dodgers are facing this offseason is what to do with Cody Bellinger. On the one hand, Bellinger won the MVP Award just three years ago and is only 27 years old. On the other hand, he took a big step back in 2020, an even bigger step back in 2021, and not nearly enough of a step forward in 2022, when he posted a 78 OPS+ in 550 plate appearances.

Bellinger would make at least $14 million in arbitration, and realistically it would be closer to the $17 million he made in 2022 (players rarely take a pay cut in arbitration). So the Dodgers are forced to decide whether to offer Belli arbitration or non-tender him and either go a different direction or try to bring him back at a lower dollar amount.

As L.A. president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on Tuesday, the team still hasn’t made that tough decision.

“We still very much believe in Belli’s ability and we got to see firsthand how hard he worked throughout the season,” Friedman said. “Obviously, he’ll be the first to tell you that it was below the expectations that he has for himself. And right now, I know he’s working with our [hitting] guys and doing everything he can to put himself in position to be a real force for us next year. But we still have time to work through what everything looks like.”

It sounds like Bellinger is essentially taking part in an extended tryout in Arizona, trying to prove to himself and the team that the guy who was the best player in baseball in 2019 is still in there somewhere. Los Angeles doesn’t need the MVP version of Bellinger to return — although that would be very nice. They’d be perfectly happy with the 2018 version that was 20 percent better than league average offensively and played Gold Glove defense.

It’s hard to give up on an elite talent during what should be his prime, so it makes sense that the Dodgers will take every minute they have available to try to figure out if that elite talent will ever show up again.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. Same old Dodgers year after year, so much talent and nobody to lead them, such a shame with Mike Scoscia just sitting at home, this team will surpass the 90s Braves teams in underachieving.

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