Chicago Cubs and outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger agree to one-year, $17.5 million contract

Outfielder Cody Bellinger and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a one-year, $17.5 million contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old Bellinger continued to provide Gold Glove-caliber defense in center field for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, along with increased speed on the bases, but he continued to struggle offensively.

Bellinger ventured onto the free agent market a year earlier after the Dodgers failed to offer him an offer after the 2022 season. He was due to make about $18 million in 2023.

He was named the National League MVP after a 2019 season in which he hit .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs, 115 RBIs and 15 stolen bases for a value of 7.7 wins. FanGraphs above replacement.

Since then, however, Bellinger has hit just .203/.272/.376 in a 295-game regular-season stretch. His .648 OPS from 2020 to 2022 ranked 299th out of 338 qualified hitters during that period.

Bellinger’s batting average plummeted to .165 in 2021 and continued until last season, when he hit .210 with 19 home runs in 144 games for a Dodgers team that set a franchise record with 111 wins.

In six MLB seasons, all with Los Angeles, Bellinger has a career .248 batting average with 152 home runs, 422 RBIs and 62 stolen bases.

The two-time All-Star selection was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2017, the National League Most Valuable Player in 2018 and won a World Series ring in 2020.

ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez contributed to this report.

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