Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger received a non-tender from the team. He is officially a free agent. The former NL MVP posted a second career worse .210 batting average but still managed to hit 19 home runs with 68 RBI’s in 144 games.
This is the physical prime of his career. Choosing to keep him should’ve been a formality. The problem with Bellinger was his struggles at the plate as he had some of his coldest streaks of his career. Bellinger made up for his offensive problems with defensive plays.
The Dodgers could still sign Bellinger this offseason, but they’ll have to bid against the 29 other clubs on the free-agent market. Center field is a position many teams are looking to upgrade and Bellinger’s potential is enticing.
Bellinger was a fan favorite in Los Angeles. He has dealt with injuries since his MVP season, notably a labrum issue in his right shoulder that required major surgery in November 2020, but his offensive decline nonetheless remains puzzling.
Bellinger is a two-time All-Star with a rookie of the year award on his résumé. He batted .305 with 47 home runs and a 1.035 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. He has won a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove.
2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger. Photo courtsey of Chris Szagola / Associated Press