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