Cody Bellinger turned his early foray through free agency into a one-year, $17.5 million contract with the Chicago Cubs, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.
Bellinger, the 2019 National League MVP, has been a shell of his former self in recent seasons, leading to a non-tender by the Los Angeles Dodgers this past offseason that made him a free agent. He was also NL Rookie of the Year in 2017.
The two-time All-Star batted .210 with a .654 OPS last season, although those numbers were better than what he posted in 2021: .165 and .542. He had 19 home runs and 68 RBIs in 144 games last season after hitting 10 home runs with 36 RBIs in 2021.
During his MVP season, Bellinger batted .305 with a 1.035 OPS and hit 47 home runs with 115 RBIs.
The downfall for the Arizona native appeared to come during Game 7 of the 2020 National League Championship Series. Bellinger hit a go-ahead home run against the Atlanta Braves in a victory that put Los Angeles into the World Series, but he partially dislocated his shoulder in a celebration with teammate Enrique Hernandez.
Bellinger had a surgical procedure to repair the shoulder that offseason, then came away with a leg injury early in the 2021 season that cost him nearly two months.
Over six seasons and 745 games with the Dodgers, Bellinger is a career .248 hitter with an .819 OPS, 152 home runs and 422 RBIs. He is considered a well-above defensive player in center field and at first base.
Bellinger has played in just nine games at Wrigley Field with a home run but has a .321 average and .429 on-base percentage there in 35 plate appearances.
--Field Level Media