Former Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger has officially declined his mutual option with the Chicago Cubs, and is heading to unrestricted free agency.
This doesn’t come as a surprise at all, as Bellinger enjoyed an incredible 2023 season that even led to him winning the MLBPA Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Bellinger is now heading to free agency for the second straight season, but after taking a one-year prove-it deal with the Cubs, is set to cash in big time on the open market.
Could Cody Bellinger Return to the Dodgers?
Bellinger will have tons of suitors — including some LA rivals — but it feels unlikely he returns to LA. Bellinger struggled over his last three seasons with the Dodgers, and clearly needed a change of scenery to get his career back on track.
Bellinger will almost certainly go where the money takes him, and as one of the best hitters and most versatile defenders on the market, he’s sure to get a lot of it.
The Dodgers do have needs in the outfield as right now, it’s just James Outman and Mookie Betts (although he’s likely to continue playing his utility role next year).
But Bellinger is set to cash in on a massive deal, and it seems very unlikely that comes with the team he spent the first six years of his career with.
Bellinger joined former Dodger Justin Turner, who also declined his option today and is heading to free agency. For the second straight season, both of them will be looking for new homes.
Where do you think Bellinger is going to wind up this offseason? And what about Turner? Sound off in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports