It was the worst kept secret in baseball as the Chicago Cubs have landed former National League MVP, Cody Bellinger. The Cubs gave Bellinger a one-year deal worth $17 million, and he is expected to compete for the starting job in centerfield next season.
As soon as it was announced that Bellinger was not going to be returning to the Dodgers then it became a clear match with the Cubs. Bellinger has struggled since winning the MVP Award with the Dodgers, and the Cubs are betting on him to bounce back in a big way.
The Cubs are also going to be able to use Bellinger at first base this season, and that makes the addition even that much more valuable. It’s unclear how many other teams were in on the former MVP, but the Cubs were able to convince him to come to Chicago and try to help them contend again.
It looked as if Bellinger was on a path to reaching the Hall of Fame at one point, but he has struggled to stay healthy. There is a ton of power in that bat, and he is also terrific on defense, and that is extremely important with a bunch of contact pitchers.
The beauty of signing Bellinger to a one-year deal is that the Cubs can also flip him in a trade if things aren’t going well with the team. Hopefully, Bellinger is able to help the Cubs have a big season, and they will start to look at ways to extend him moving forward.
Ricketts Changes His Tune
Perhaps the biggest Cubs’ news to come out of the Winter Meetings is what owner Tom Ricketts told Jed Hoyer. According to multiple sources, including agent Scott Boras, the checkbook is wide open, and Hoyer can spend as much money as needed.
Ricketts has said that the money is going to be there again, but he’s never actually gotten to this level. If Scott Boras believes that the Cubs are going to be spending some money, then that’s a pretty clear sign that it’s going to happen.
Other teams are still going to be in the mix for all of the biggest names, but the Cubs should not be outbid by anyone this winter.
Lester Making a Pitch
It sounds like Jon Lester isn’t done making pitches for the Chicago Cubs, although his most recent pitches aren’t being thrown on the mound. Lester still works for the Cubs in some capacity, and he has been reaching out to shortstop prospects over the last few days.
You will remember that it was the signing of Jon Lester that really turned things around for the Cubs moving forward. The Cubs could be looking to sign a pair of shortstops this week, and Lester is doing whatever he can to make that happen.