Cody Bellinger and Chicago Cubs to Find Middle Ground? Off-Season Stalemate Continues Despite Seemingly Perfect Fit

Published 02/11/2024, 7:30 AM EST

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The greatest trick in negotiations is to identify the middle path. A win-win for both parties is always desirable. If the Chicago Cubs and their beloved Cody Bellinger want to get together, a middle path is looking an increasingly likely option. Neither the Cubs want to pay up over $200 million, nor does Scott Boras want to accept the Cubs’ pricing. A compromise could be in play here, but there’s still some doubt over it.

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It has been the same story ever since the start of this off-season. The Cubs have been favorites but haven’t made the final move. Is it over-reliance on their strategy or is it them trying to recreate the situation before 2023? With the clock ticking on Spring Training, there are growing calls to end this impasse with a compromise. The only question – will they take that chance?

Cody Bellinger – an expensive desire or a valuable need?

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This is the basic question that the Cubs have to ask themselves – Is Bellinger a need for them or is he a want? For Jed Hoyer, a need has always come first. His entire tenure has been characterized by minimizing risk by investing in the future. Even this offseason represented this stance as the team has added a few top prospects to the mix. With the focus clearly on the future, where does Bellinger fit?

As FanSided pointed out, the Cubs lack an impact bat in their lineup. Filled with great contact hitters and defenders, the team doesn’t have many power hitters. “Bellinger, at worst, is an RBI machine to anchor the middle of the lineup.” And that in a way makes Bellinger a necessary signing. However, the North Siders want to add him on their terms.

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While Belli wants a long-term $200+ million deal, the Cubs find it risky. After all, before 2023, Bellinger had batted to .165 in 2021 and .210 in 2022. It was in Cubs that Bellinger rediscovered his swagger. That’s why the Cubs have remained favorites for him. So a middle ground becomes not just obvious but a need of the hour. 

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As the source said, both want each other but “it won’t happen unless the two sides can meet in the middle, on more reasonable financial grounds.” So what’s stopping them?

The Chicago Cubs’ prudence – a gift or a curse?

The Cubs might not be at the level of the Yankees or Dodgers but make no mistake – they are a big-market team. However, recently the team has pivoted towards short-term contracts and low-risk acquisitions. While they have improved their farm, it still isn’t on the level of teams like the Orioles.

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But this strategy of low-risk acquisitions inherently makes offering $200 million+ for Bellinger a doubtful exercise for the Cubbies. Last season, they had gotten Bellinger at a bargain price but things are different now. With competition rising, they need to find a solution soon or they might miss the train.

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Written by:

Sanskar Dubey

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“Rigidity leads to demise, while adaptability paves the path to vitality." Driven by a deep passion for sports, I’m glad I found baseball. Now serving as an MLB writer at EssentiallySports, I love to write about the thrilling tussle between the National League and American League throughout the season, although I may have a fondness for a particular Yankees icon named Alex Rodriguez.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj

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