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Dodgers: Cody Bellinger Identified as Must-Extend Player

“He’s become one of the best players in the sport.”

Cody Bellinger rounds second base after connecting on a home run.

Those of you who remember the Bryce Harper saga in the 2018 Winter will probably like the idea around this post. First off, Harper and his monstrous contract demands created drama for all teams involved; including the Los Angeles Dodgers.

However, the Dodgers could have a candidate for a multi-year contract extension on their roster currently.

Furthermore, Jim Bowden writes about ‘The Must-Extend Players for Each Team This Offseason’ over at The Athletic MLB. He says that Bellinger is a must-extend guy for the Dodgers even with his free agency not coming until after the 2023 season.

Here’s what Bowden had to say regarding the matter:

Los Angeles Dodgers
Cody Bellinger, RF, free agent after 2023

Bellinger has become a legitimate MVP candidate and one of the best players in the sport. The 24-year-old is slashing .308/.412/.651 with 30 doubles, 44 home runs and 104 RBIs. His 1745 OPS+ and 8.3 WAR is the best in the National League. The two-time All-Star has also become an elite defender in right field. The Dodgers would be wise to buy out his arbitration years while trying to secure at least two free-agent years.

Now, one might say that Bellinger should play a few more seasons to build the resumé a bit more before the Dodgers consider a long-term contract. While there is no argument that Bellinger is one of the game’s finest players, his peaks and valleys are well-known by the Dodgers.

Still, Bowden is a former general manager. Therefore, he knows the careful balance between when to approach a player for a long-term deal before said player begins to become very high-priced.

For instance, if the Dodgers approach Bellinger with a 10-year, $350 million dollar contract this off-season; he may be open to signing now for what is considered a more team-friendly deal. Of course, I am simply throwing that number out there for examples’ sake. On the other hand – if the organization waits and Bellinger continues to do his thing for another season or two – he might command a contract above $400 million or more.

Weigh-In: Should The Dodgers Sign Bellinger Long-Term Now?

Let us know in the comment section, do you feel that the Dodgers should lock up Cody Bellinger to a long-term contract this winter? And if so, what number and year amount would you approach him with? Do you think that Bellinger is the one player the Dodgers should consider committing to long-term? Why or why not?

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

22 Comments

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  1. This article is perfect in realizing that Bellinger needs a long term contract now. I think furthermore the org needs to start establishing a reputation for rewarding players for their success in the sport. Don’t make the Piazza, Beltre, Greinke, Martinez mistakes. Learn from those particular examples. Belli is on the same level as those players, and his best years are in front of him. Hopefully he regains his hot streak from earlier in the season to carry the team to a title. Go Dodgers…

    • Thanks Kirk. I think I would sign him to the largest deal the Dodgers have done yet. 10 year, $350 million?

  2. The Dodgers should consider a 10 year $375m contract with an opt out in it, i think having a young core is our bread and butter, where this can be dangerous is you may have to end up with multiple long term expensive contracts better to lock them up now then get into bidding wars when they can test FA.

  3. Bellinger is mos def long term signer. The Dodgers should lock him long term. I believe him to be a generational player. U won’t see the likes of him for a long time. I call it like I see it. Been a Dodger fan since 58’ when they came West. I was 5 years old & learned the game on my Grandfather’s knee. Nuff said.

  4. 10 years and $350 million for what exactly? Great power and excellent defense at multiple positions. That being said after a torrid April/ May he seems to be back in the 2017-18 mode. You don’t pay that kind of money for that kind of overall production. Yes, this is going to be a great regular season and could result in MVP but March/ April set the foundation. I just hope there is more work done in off season, he can’t be pleased with the way he has tailed off.

    • I think he finishes around an 8 bWAR this season somehow. And I think he could have several more of those seasons left in him. Possibly some 9 or even a 10 WAR if he stays healthy. I forget the dollar value for a player like this (thinking back to Trout talk on FanGraphs years ago). But it was something absurd at like $50 million per year real value. So 10/350 might actually be a bargain given his youth and upside. Being a Boras client could make our wishes tough.

  5. It’s a tough situation no matter what angle you look at it from… I honestly don’t see the young core we have now staying together as Urias, Seager and Bellinger are all clients of Scott Boras. That being said, I can see the Dodgers offering what they feel is good deals and wait to see which player signs. The ones that don’t would be traded before they leaving for nothing.

  6. He has four more years before FA. Bregman just signed a deal this offseason with the same amount of team control left as Bellinger now, and he got 6 years at $100 million. That bought out his 4 remaining years and 2 free agent years. If they offered Bellinger a 10 year $200 million this offseason he should jump on it. Only way he gets into the 300 million or greater group is if he gambles on himself and waits until one year before FA (3 years from now) or all the way to FA. And that whole time he has to stay healthy and continue to play as well as he has. Which isn’t a guarantee, because injuries happen and players regress. I had to comment when I saw the 300 million offers now when he has 4 years left under team control= won’t happen now.

  7. Lock him in. 10 years, 350 will be a steal as the market progresses. doing this sends a message throughout the organization that if you produce, be a good citizen, a team player, you will be cared for and rewarded.

  8. We all know who that agent of his is…the infamous Boras. however, Freidman already hinted that there could be a long term deal for Bellinger soon earlier in the year. And as far as Boras goes, it’s ultimately what Bellinger wants, not what Boras wants.

    • I think he did mention this, Paul. I need to go back through the stories and see if I can find what month it was. I want to say it was February or March when the team was in spring training but I thought it was interesting it was fresh on the braintrust’ mind even before he had this breakout year.

  9. Andrew Friedman offered Bryce Harper $45 million per year on a shorter term before Harper signed the 13 year deal with Phillies. Based on that offer, Dodgers should not lowball Cody Bellinger, who’s having a better year than Harper. Give the guy a $500 million deal over 10 years. What’s fair is fair, $500 million is a fair offer that will make both sides happy, it will make Dodgers fans happy too.

    • Nice post, Dave. A guy like Cody who is marketable, plays well, and the fans love should more than make this money back (I know it’s hard to believe). And ultimately, if he helps deliver one title; well you have a script written for Hollywood that is invaluable even when his playing days are over.

      • Are you crazy? Are we talking about the first half cody or the second half cody? Are we talking about year one cody or year two cody? Based on the last few month he has been good but not in the class of potential mvp players.four years left let’s see who we are talking about. Lots of time. Look at his numbers for the second half. Not $300 mil numbers.

  10. He’s already better than trout and without steroids cause trout is on steroids you can tell just look at him when he first started and now.sign Cody to same contract like trout.

  11. Bellinger has developed into the core piece of the Dodgers. The Dodgers would be wise to extend him now – before he puts up another monster season. My uneducated opinion would be 8-10 years, with a average yearly value in the 37 million range – give or take a couple million on each year. An opt out (both player and team mutual option) after year 6 could seal this deal.

  12. I think Belli is worth every penny of a 350 million dollar contract through 10 yrs. Wouldnt want to lose a guy of his caliber. And definitely better keep him happy.

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