Sorry to make today pearl clutching about exorbitant prices day, but I have one to add to the ever-exploding Yoshinobu Yamamoto expectations and the apparent high price the Yankees are paying to acquire Juan Soto from the Padres.
This one is about Cody Bellinger, who’s projected/reported price tag has just kept climbing as the offseason has gone on. I’m not saying these projections/reports are all totally true – as in, I’m not saying I think Bellinger’s actual asks have kept going up and up – but the climb has been eye-watering.
First, you had some early offseason projections on a contract that would take Bellinger north of $200 million, a level that starts to look simply too high to me when you consider the risks. But then you had one projection going over $250 million, with a report this past weekend that Bellinger’s camp was indeed seeking a deal over $250 million.
Now, you have one that truly dropped my jaw:
Obviously Bellinger and Scott Boras can ask for whatever they want. And there was a time when Bellinger absolutely looked like he would be a $300+ million free agent. But 2021 and 2022 happened. I don’t think you can just straight up ignore them, which is what you would have to do in order to say that Bellinger is presently a $300+ million free agent.
Maybe he’ll nevertheless get it eventually. Scott Boras is really, really good at making shocking deals happen. (Though they probably did just lose a suitor in the Yankees.)
I like so many things that Bellinger does, and I can absolutely see how he works well on the Cubs for years to come. But the budget is real, and committing such a large chunk to a guy who may not actually be an impact bat going forward (that’s the question about the contact quality), and who might wind up at first base for the Cubs for most of his deal, is a risk too far. The Cubs should stay involved, but I don’t see them re-upping unless his market disappears and he has to take a well-sub-$200 million deal in February or something.