The Blue Jays have reportedly reached out to free agent Cody Bellinger – BlueJaysNation

The weekend is done, which means that baseball rumors are back, baby!

This one comes courtesy of MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (grain of salt time!). For those who are blocked, the interest was obvious as it fits a need (being a left-handed batting outfielder). However, what intrigues me is the fact that the Jays reached out to the Dodgers about a trade.

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My assumption is that it is suggested that Toronto trade deadline in 2022 for center field depth. In fact, the Jays filled that hole with Whit Merrifield, but still made a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers for Mitch White.

With Morosi, I definitely think where there’s smoke, there’s fire. For example, while he was incorrect about who was coming in the trade with Seattle, he did suggest that Toronto would trade Teoscar Hernández to the Mariners.

Last season, Bellinger slashed .210/.265/.389 this guy is 50 plate appearances. His 27.3 K% was a career-high, while his 6.9 BB% was a career-low. He managed to improve his wRC+ from 47 in 2021 to 83 in 2022, but still was well below average

While the stats listed above may make you question why the heck is this guy getting so much, but Bellinger probably won’t ever return to his 2019 form, as he’s had multiple shoulder injuries and slashed .305/.406/.629 with 47 homers in 660 plate appearances. He also had a career-high 14.4 BB% and a career-low 16.4 K%.

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It’s unfortunate to say, but Bellinger probably won’t ever return to his 2019 form, as he’s had multiple shoulder injuries, as well as shoulder surgery. There is a case that a new team could help him shorten his swing, which could make up for the loss of bat speed, but a team can’t sign him expecting him to perform as he had in 2019.

With that being said, Bellinger is a plus defender in center field, as he had a 6 Outs Above Average and a 0 Defensive Runs Saved in center field this past season. Dating back to the last time he played right field in a full season (which was 2019), Bellinger had 18 DRS and 6 OAA.

If he would be a replacement for Raimel Tapia, that’s good (especially if he bounces back). If he would be a replacement for Hernández, well I think their offense numbers could hurt next season. Not even necessarily because of Bellinger, but because Hernández’s production is incredibly difficult to replace.

In fact, as I was writing this, Shane Seney dropped that Cody Bellinger was signing a multi-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. However, the verbiage of “expect to see” and replying with “talks intensifying” leaves me skeptical.

When someone breaks news, we always ask whether the individual has sources. However, Seney broke the Jays’ re-signing John Schneider to a three-year deal days before it was officially announced.

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The confusing part to me is the “muti-year deal” aspect of the report, which contradicts what Ken Rosenthal had reported on Sunday evening (about only wanting a one-year.)

One way to have a multi-year deal is to have say a one-year, $10 million dollar contract with incentives while adding a player option for say, $5,000,000. If he reaches those incentives, it’s likely that he will decline the player option (and the Jays can offer him a qualifying offer). If he doesn’t, it’s guaranteed money for the 2024 season while doing what a 28-year-old fourth outfielder should be doing.

Obviously, we’re getting into the hypotheticals at this point, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Bellinger. I’ll say I definitely have time for him though depending on how they plan to use him.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.


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