The Chicago Cubs landed 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger on Tuesday, signing him to a one-year, $17.5million free agent contract.
Bellinger, 27, has spent his entire six-year career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, highlighted by a remarkable 2019 campaign where he slashed .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs and 115 RBIs.
All of those figures were career-highs, and while he remains a Gold Glove-calibre centre-fielder, his offensive production has cratered over the past two seasons.
Bellinger hit just .165 in 315 at-bats in 2021, and showed only slight improvement this year to hit .210 in 504 at-bats. He also hit more home runs in his MVP season than the past three combined (41).
At his age, Bellinger has plenty of time to turn things around, and he has decided a change of scenery could be what is needed, heading to a Cubs team that has not won a playoff series since 2017.
The one-year deal is an opportunity for Bellinger to prove he can still be an elite hitter, and Cubs manager David Ross said he feels his combination of skills makes it a risk worth taking.
"He's a really good fit from a perspective of [his] great defense, great base running, left-handed bat with the potential to have an uptick offensively," he said.