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Dodgers: MLB Insider Thinks LA Trades Cody Bellinger This Offseason

Could it actually happen?



The 2021 season will likely go down as the worst in Cody Bellinger’s career. While his 2019 MVP form isn’t something we expect from him on an annual basis, the Dodgers know that Cody isn;t nearly as bad as this season would indicate. 

A series of injuries have derailed him from the start, and Cody never found his swing in 2021. The Dodgers just placed him on the injured list again this week, this time with a rib fracture sustained in an outfield collision. But there is still hope that he can be useful to them as the team heads for the postseason. 

But MLB experts are already thinking beyond this season for the Dodgers superstar. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden talked about Bellinger this week and what he thinks his future looks like. Bowden made a surprising prediction, and we can’t say that we agree. 

I think the Dodgers will trade Bellinger this offseason and use their resources to try to keep Scherzer and Seager instead. I do think Bellinger is salvageable if he commits to returning to the mechanics he used in 2019, when he hit 47 home runs and led the league with 351 total bases. Bellinger is only 26 years old, and the average prime years for major-league players are 26 to 30. If I’m another team, I’m making trade offers the minute the postseason is over.

The Dodgers trading Bellinger when his value has never been lower would make little to absolutely no sense at all. He is also under team control through the 2023 season, which makes even less sense for them to trade him now. 

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If anything, the Dodgers would hope for a bounceback year in 2022 before even considering moving the outfielder. The only reason it would make sense to move him this offseason would be to create money for Max Scherzer and possibly Corey Seager. 

But they’re also the Dodgers. They have the money to retain both of those guys if they want to, even if they keep Bellinger around through 2023. Why roll the dice now and possibly get a minimal return for a former MVP?

What do you think? Do the Dodgers even answer phone calls on Bellinger this offseason? Drop into the comments and let me know what you think. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. I would like to see Cody stay BUT see the Dodgers acquire more effective (I am trying to say this politely) batting coaches! He has got the skill-that has been proven-but he is NOT concentrating on the fundamentals anymore needed to get it done! C’mon Dodgers-we all know that is why there is “coaching.”

      • You are correct! Bowden has no clue! The choice is between Seager and Trae Turner. Loyalty aside, Turner looks to be the better ball player. And my guess is the Front Office
        gives Cody another season or half season before they decide what to do with him.

          • Boras will sour Friedman very quickly! Trea Turner is a way better choice-speed, batting, and unbelievable defense. With Lux getting back to a full season at 2nd-we will have a great middle infield. Goodbye Corey! Belli should get another year! Bowden is an ignorant gadfly.

      • Agree with Paul. Only reason to cite what Bowden says is to have a headline to use for an article that isn’t logical.

    • Sigh… Robert Van Scoyoc is quite literally the best hitting coach in baseball. You heard of Justin Turner, JD martinez, Chris Taylor just to name a few. He’s the guy who re-worked all of their swings, and also is the modern father of launch angle.

      It’s not the swing… it’s the injury. It takes two years to heal from this kind of shoulder injury based on all past data we have. I don’t understand why people are so up in arms. Belli needs to heal… that’s it, plain and simple.

      • Anyone remember that horrible losing streak our team had earlier this season? I thought not enough was done to break them out of it. It would sure be nice to have even 2 of those games back, we might be in first place! BTW it seems they have had a similar losing stretch every season for the last 4-5 seasons. I know teams can go thru that, but for 25 games?! and every season?! Tommy would have been kicking butts, having extra practice, days off, dress up day etc Anything to break out of the mire. Just saying!

        • Exactly. And to make it short and to the point, Bellinger is finished for this year. Roberts CANNOT justify in any way shape or form to have Bellinger ANYWHERE NEAR the starting lineup for remainder of this year. Not with his .159 BA.

      • The data shows one really good half season, and the rest not so much. And it IS the swing! Every announcer, fan etc questions it, Van Scoyoc didn’t teach him that I guarantee you. Who does? How does anyone develop that kind of swing? Maybe tons of athletic ability and just as much stubborness.

        • No sir. The data shows 2 really good years (’17 and ’19), 1 solid year (’18), and 1 slightly above average year (last year) by modern stats.
          He is terrible this year but has experienced some pretty serious injuries and is now pressing. Stan Musial once said “a slump gets into your swing, goes to your head, and winds up in your stomach.” Bellinger is an athletic 26; with health he’ll figure it out.
          Bowden again shows why he is no longer a GM. Only a fool discards Belli at his lowest value so it’s not going to happen.

          • really good years (’17 and ’19). He sucked in the 2019 playoffs. 2017 playoffs were ‘better’ I guess. He hit .217.

            He has NEVER done well against the good pitching of post season. And thats when he healthy…

            Now he’s horrible for an entire year, against mediocre season ptiching?

            Good luck waiting for that super hero to show next year.. He hasn’t yet.

      • OK-if it is the injury that is preventing Cody from producing at the plate then why isn’t he in rehab until healthy? And is it the injury that is causing his head to drop so far on each swing- because no other hitter in MLB does that and and it has to be a significant reason for his poor hittting. I like Cody but he has hurt the Dodger offense all season.

      • Finally, someone who makes sense. He should’ve went down to the minors and worked on his mechanics then come when ready. He will be fine but we keepin Corey, Trea, and max for sure. If cody gotta go to keep that pull the trigger. It’s a wrap.

      • ” I don’t understand why people are so up in arms”

        .159 BA for the entire year, 300 ABs. When exactly is this healing going to work its magic?

        Besides, what super hero work are you expecting even IF he is ‘all better’ one day?

        Even during the one ‘great’ year of 2019, he sucked in the playoffs (When pitching gets good).

        Show me his good playoff years..His claim to fame is that he pad stats on crappy pitching.

        IF IF IF he even gets ‘healed’. That is his ceiling.

        Good during the season. Sleepy time when its ‘ring time’.

  2. Do not trade Bellinger. He will be back big next year. This would be an imbecilic move, one that the Dodgers are quite capable of I’m afraid. Can you say Beltre?

    • Can you say Pedro Martinez?

      Can you say Mike Piazza?

      Can you say Sandy Alomar?

      Can you say Paul Konerko?

      TV Idiots gave up too soon on a number of guys….

  3. Hopefully they don’t trade him. I truly believe injuries that led to a lack of off-season work, shortened spring training and a completely derailed season are to blame. Let him heal this off-season. Watch him come back as the .260, powering hitting, multi-position gold-glover, and speedster we know he is. #AllinforBelli2022

  4. Maybe if Cody tried just to make contact and not look like he’s trying to hit a home run on every pitch it would help. Also psychologically he looks like he’s really beaten up, he needs a rest.

  5. Hell no! Let him get it together in off season and if not better use the trade deadline. His value can’t be any worse at that time. As for Seager and Scherzer, pay ‘‘em if you want to keep them especially Scherzer. Don’t forget Trey Turner.

  6. And in typical fashion he’ll suddenly want to go back to what made him successful before. He’ll look less stoned, and will always do well vs the dodgers

  7. Trading Bellinger this offseason would literally rank as one of the worst trades of all time. Not only is he under team control, the guy just needs to heal his shoulder. Not to mention, you never sell low. All the skills are there, and he’ll bounce back. He just shouldn’t have been playing as early as he did, when all the indicators were there that he was still injured.

  8. Anyone remember that horrible losing streak our team had earlier this season? I thought not enough was done to break them out of it. It would sure be nice to have even 2 of those games back, we might be in first place! BTW it seems they have had a similar losing stretch every season for the last 4-5 seasons. I know teams can go thru that, but for 25 games?! and every season?! Tommy would have been kicking butts, having extra practice, days off, dress up day etc Anything to break out of the mire. Just saying!

    • They still have a chance to equal the best record in franchise history and without having to wear a dress. You don’t know what goes on in that clubhouse. They’ve had to play far more bullpen games than they ever imagined. Just sayin’.

  9. Seriously doubt the phones will be ringing off the hook for an often injured .160 hitting player

  10. Trading bellinger would be ridiculous at this point. No question they should keep Seager. Look how he’s played after being on the IL this year. He really didn’t miss a beat.
    As far as scherzer is concerned, he’s a great pitcher. But at his age, I think 37, he could lose it over one winter.
    Dodgers have beuhler, Urias, Kershaw, gonsolin and may will be back next year. Plus they always have a lot on the farm.
    I keep bellinger seager and kershaw. If they want to spend the money keep scherzer too

  11. John, you’re correct. So then we ask why DRRRRdoesnt recognize this and still to this day is hoping Bellinger can be back next week and as Roberts thinks: ,help us win ball games’ unbelievable

  12. If they trade him that will be it for me.He gave his all last season ! I believe he has earned at least another season. I know sports are just another business. I guess I’m just fed up with sports, Dodgers are the only team I watch but the fun is fading, it’s not what it used to be, moving players in & out no set line up, Bullpen games, analytics on & on . Your killing the fun, as BB King sang the thrill is gone !

  13. The sad part is that Bellinger looks depressed. He does not emanate confidence; none of the Pujols upbeat energy! Several teenagers have asked me if Belli is on drugs because he looks “off.” Perhaps he is taking a lot of painkillers. Seems the Dodgers play more confidently without Cody in the lineup. Once it gets to the point that the team feels better without a player, then a trade to an AL club may make sense.

  14. You have Trea Turner when Seager’s contract expires. It would be ludicrous to make. a deal for Belly knowing it takes a minimum of a year to start to get back to healing prior to injury and heal up from there. When Belly’s hitting really well, the team as a whole is hitting stat wise higher than normal. The suggestion to trade Belly is a joke and would be similar to shooting yourself in the foot and arm; sheer stupidity. It takes time to get the shoulder stronger and if anyone who doesn’t realize that maybe needs to do research before writing such a ridiculous article like every other Belly media banger article by all other media. Sigh. It’s getting really old especially from a “fan.” Go have shoulder surgery, it’s very painful and a longer recovery. Belly’s team mates all realize this, but media is enormously lacking intelligence on it everywhere & anywhere. I guess it gets media types clicks & likes, but we’re all tired of it. It’s in bad taste nonstop & not what a supposed fan would say or do.

  15. While I agree that Bowden doesn’t have very good track record on his predictions, I think he is looking at it from a financial perspective. At a minimum the Dodgers could get a 20% salary reduction on Bellinger’s salary for 2022 ( assuming no change in a new CBA) and his pay will most likely be closer to his current $16 million. Bowden just saying that money would be better spent elsewhere.

  16. It’s painful to watch Bellinger. He’s in a dark, dark place right now – and knows it.

    He’s lost – swinging at pitches that aren’t even near the strike zone – some of them bouncing five feet in front of the plate. He’s guessing at pitches – has no method of attack, and subconsciously believes he will fail. I wouldn’t doubt they’ve employed sports psychologists to work with him, but none of it has helped.

    Trade him.

  17. The keyword here is thinks and I know that this clown thinks too much, which is his mistake. Maybe he’s doing this for some attention? Whatever his reason, he’ll have to eat crow!

  18. Why is Trea Turner not batting 1st? He’s hitting and he’s the fastest and best base runner on the team….What a dumb move!!!

  19. Other folks besides Bowden have suggested Bellinger could be traded. So it is in the Dodgers interest to listen, but they won’t trade him unless some other team decides to wildly overbid which is hard to imagine given the fact the Bellinger is in such a bad place right now.You wish there was some way to completely shut him down and send him to a backfield at Camelback for six months to see what can be fixed. He definitely shouldn’t be on the 25-man right now.

    • “see you next year as a padre”.

      Yeah! He can get his revenge on LA like Machado…. Oh wait.

  20. I don’t think they’ll trade him unless it’s to resign Scherzer and Seager, but I think they are going to let Seager walk after giving him the Qualifying Offer, keep Bellinger until he goes back to old form and produces and then resign or then trade him while his value is at his highest, I also think after Seager walks ,the Dodgers move Trea Turner to S/S and sign him long term, then slide lux over to second,I would like them to take a run at S.Marte in Free Agency, he would bring another right handed bat,plus are they going to resign Pollock?? I think Kershaw goes to the Rangers to finish his career, he’s not a 30 million dollar pitcher anymore, plus they have to think about future extensions for Urias & Buehler, especially Walker, I’d give Scherzer a 3 yr tons of money extension, hopefully Trevor Bauer won’t be able to exercise his contract option, I don’t know if he’s guilty or innocent, but the players don’t want him back, that’s what I think. Dodgers Forever. 45 year fan.

  21. Cody Bellinger..are you reading these comments about you? What do YOU think?

    Love to hear your feedback.

  22. How this team performs for the rest of the regular season and post season (if any) will likely play a big factor in front office decisions for roster changes. I think having Seager and Trea Turner is the best infield combo SS & 2nd this team has ever had. Belli is replaceable preferably by a right side hitting OF. Hard to find good pitching—Kershaw should retire in Dodger uniform. Scherzer definitely a new contract. The bench needs retooling; letting Kiké Hernandez go was a mistake…next season is his last year with the Red Sox—can a return to the Dodgers be worked out?

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