It Only Cost $80,000,000 To Bring Cody Bellinger Back To Chicago


Yes I still work here and yes Cody Bellinger is a Chicago Cub for 3-years and $80,000,000. 

Full story embedded in this tweet. I'll follow with the important parts.

- it's basically a $30M with an opt out. There's a small chance this plays out 3 years and $80M. 

- $30M in the first year is significantly higher than projected AAV at like $22.5M 

- The actual AAV is $26.7M which is in line with a shorter deal 

- Boras kind of looks bad right now after a lot of talk for a mega deal, but he also gets Cody paid big another couple seasons where he can get back into the free agent market if a big deal (5+ years) looks possible

- The reason Bellinger didn't get a bigger contract is because of the batted ball data. I'm not including a screenshot because most people wouldn't understand it so I'll just talk slowly. He had a high batting average last year, but hit the ball much softer than normal. They can measure that stuff now. People say that's being lucky. Others think he had a simpler approach at the plate that was more focused on his natural strengths. In either respect, we have an answer now: he did not get a massive contract. How much of that is batted ball vs. the new focus on extensions and buying out younger years? I honestly have no fucking clue. 

- For the rest of baseball, this is kind of good news I think. I mean from the long-term building process. And I mean that for everyone who cares about baseball. Cody Bellinger getting a massive deal with the Angels would've been such bullshit similar to Kris Bryant signing with the Rockies. That's trash. The model needs to support exactly what we're witnessing here. Cody stays a Cub, the team loves him, the fans are happy, he's making about $30M for the next 3 seasons with a good chance he makes a lot more later. The Cubs get a 3-hitter and 1st baseman/CF and literally everyone is happy. 

- More practically, this means the Cubs can take time with Michael Busch at 1st base. Theres more flexibility with the outfield match ups and DH spot. You give Craig Counsell way more juice to squeeze with playing time - maybe his greatest strength. The young guys get to take a deep breath and then the veterans like Nico and Dansby get their boy back in the middle of the lineup. 

And probably best of all is we can stop complaining and start focusing on how we're going to run it down the Cardinals mouth every week of this fuckin season. I mean that. We can shut our traps and start filling out the lineup card: 

1. Nico - 2B

2. Dansby - SS

3. Bellinger - 1B

4. Seiya - RF

5. Happ - LF

6. Morel - 3B

7. Busch - DH

8. PCA - CF

9. Gomes - C

Work in progress. Flip it as you see fit. 

Most important is that we're honestly just on to Cincinnati at this point. We can finally take a deep breath and enjoy the fact that it's baseball season. 

PS - Deeper nerdier analysis… the Cubs have their finances all aligned on this 3 year window into the 2027 season. That goes for literally every body on the roster. So adding Bellinger back into the mix without exceeding or fucking with that window, while still being in the budget of today's game, without compromising playing time or clubhouse culture, while already being a fan favorite… mix all that together and I don't know if Jed Hoyer could have done a better job bringing him back at 3 years and $80,000,000. You could argue it's the best Cub moves in recent memory. The opt outs and options and escalators are becoming a Jed Hoyer staple and I'd be remiss not to point that out. He's becoming a problem and the rest of the league should be aware.