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Dodgers Rumors: LA May Be Exploring Trade Options for Cody Bellinger

The Dodgers have until 5pm Pacific today to make a decision on whether to tender a contract to outfielder Cody Bellinger. If they choose to tender him, he would be eligible for arbitration and likely make $17-18 million in 2023, which is a lot of money for a guy who has been very bad offensively over the past two seasons. They could non-tender him and let him walk, or they could non-tender him and try to bring him back on a lower-dollar contract.

Or, as Jon Morosi points out, they could do one other thing.

A trade, you say? Tell me more, Jon.

Nah, there’s no more than that. Just the idea that they could trade him. What would that look like? Well, it would almost certainly include one or both of the following two things: Los Angeles including cash in the deal to offset Belli’s salary, or additional players going along with Bellinger.

Both of those ideas kind of underscore why a trade doesn’t make much sense. Right now, at $18 million, Bellinger has negative value in a trade. The Dodgers have a simple solution if they want him off the roster: non-tender him. You throw in bonuses and sweeteners to offload a bad guaranteed contract, not to get rid of a guy you could just dump and pay nothing.

So sure, if someone wants to talk trade, the Dodgers would surely listen. Maybe a team doesn’t think Belli would choose to sign with them but they think they have the answer to his struggles, so they’re willing to pay his full arbitration salary and give up something of value in return? I’d say “stranger things have happened,” but I can’t think of any.

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  1. If we were interested in trading him, we would let this go to arbitration and give him till the trade deadline to fix his issues and us to find a willing trade partner (with sweeteners).

    He’s in a contract year, his back is to the wall, there is no shift to get in his way, he has access to all the coaching, etc in the world, the threat of benching or minor league assignment exists if needed, incentive contract solutions using AB’s and 26 man roster presence exist; why wouldn’t we take another (short term) flyer on him? Who do we have to replace him in CF that has outstanding defense and significantly better and reliable offense?
    C’mon Andrew, you’ve got too many other holes to fill.

  2. As with everyone else, at this late date I have no idea what the Dodgers will do with Bellinger. However, occasionally we read about a trade to the Brewers for their shortstop Adames and their pitcher Burnes. I have no idea if the Brewers even want Belli, but if they would, it seems like a trade with money included to supplement Belli’s contract and some players would partially fill the need for the Dodgers at two positions. Just a thought.

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