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2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger Signs With New Team

Cody Bellinger rounding the bases.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 02: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning at Dodger Stadium on April 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

Cody Bellinger will hope to revive his career on a new NL team.

Fresh off his Arson Judge mishap, Jon Heyman reported that Bellinger will go to the Chicago Cubs. ESPN's Jeff Passan said the 2019 NL MVP signed a one-year, $17.5 million deal.

Bellinger looked like a long-term franchise cornerstone when crushing 39 home runs in his 2017 rookie season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After notching a .814 OPS in 2018, he batted .305/.406/.629 with 47 homers and 15 steals in 2019.

However, his production has since spiraled. Bellinger has batted .203/.272/.376 with 41 long balls over the last three seasons. 

After hitting an appalling .165 in 2021, he improved to a still-poor .210 with a career-worst 27.3 percent strikeout rate in 2022. The Dodgers non-tendered the 27-year-old before his final year of arbitration eligibility. 

The Cubs are taking a flier on the talented outfielder after a 74-88 season. They've watched a lineup of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, and Javier Baez vanish, and star catcher Wilson Contreras could sign elsewhere this winter.

That'd leave Patrick Wisdom, a 31-year-old late bloomer who posted a .298 OBP in 2022, as their only returning player who reached 20 home runs last season.

Perhaps the Cubs can catch lightning in a bottle with Bellinger. If not, a regressed Bellinger may still beat their alternative options for 2023.