Dodgers News: SNLA Analyst Predicts Bellinger Will Play ‘Elsewhere’ in 2023
Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman met with the media on Tuesday, and one of the questions they were asked was about Cody Bellinger, who is a candidate to be non-tendered this offseason. The front office executives had little to say about Bellinger. Gomes said they haven’t had time to talk it internally and that he’s had some good offensive runs. Belli’s elite defense continues to be there, and we still believe there’s upside. “
Over on SportsNetLA, though, “Access: SportsNet” host John Hartung talked with analysts Jerry Hairston Jr. and Orel Hershiser about Bellinger and a few other big offseason questions, and Hairston had a much more blunt assessment of Bellinger’s future.
“I’m a huge Cody Bellinger fan. I love this kid. I love his potential and his talent. His future is my concern. I want him to succeed. I want him to have a long career in the big leagues. He will need a new voice. I believe it will be elsewhere. I really hope he has a great career. Because he is so talented, I hope he continues to play in the big leagues for another eight, ten or twelve years. He’s hit three times in those three years, and not just one season. 200 and he really hasn’t made a whole lot of adjustments. He’ll have to go somewhere else, I think. “
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At just 27 years old, Bellinger should be in his prime right now. After winning the NL MVP at age 24, we should be enjoying a stretch of dominance from one of the most gifted athletes in baseball. It should not be difficult to offer arbitration (or a long term contract extension) to Bellinger’s talents.
But, the fact is that he has posted a. 648 OPS over the last three seasons and . 611 over the last two. He made $17 million in 2022, which means the very lowest his salary would be in 2023 would be $13.6 if they go to arbitration, and realistically, it’s probably back in the $17 million range. Bellinger is as talented as he is, and it’s difficult to imagine the Dodgers paying that much money for someone with such on-field production.
So Hairston might have a point. In 2023, Cody Bellinger might be playing elsewhere.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.