Their ‘gamble’, which seemed somewhat risky, is now heading for success.
The Chicago Cubs made an unexpected choice in the free agent market ahead of this season. That was the contract with Cody Bellinger (29), who was released as a non-tender from the LA Dodgers.
Of course,메이저놀이터 Bellinger was a big hitter who commanded the major leagues. In 2017, he hit 39 home runs and won the National League Rookie of the Year title. In 2019, he hit .305 with 47 homers, 115 RBIs and 15 stolen bases, and won the National League MVP award.
However, Bellinger fell out of control after winning the MVP award. Especially in 2021, his batting average dropped to .165, so his face was out of the question. He did not resurrect last year either. Despite playing the full season, he had a disappointing .210 batting average with 19 homers, 68 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. In the end, the Dodgers decided to give up Bellinger and release him as a non-tender.
Bellinger, who was forced to become a ‘free body’, was selected by the Cubs. The Cubs gave Bellinger an unexpectedly generous treatment of $17.5 million (about 23.1 billion won) for a year. Questions about this grew. It was pointed out that it was an ‘overpay’ for Bellinger, who left disastrous results after 2019.
However, the ‘gamble’ of the Cubs is showing the result of a reversal. Bellinger’s batting average of .300, on-base percentage of .368, and slugging percentage of .567 in 31 games, along with 7 homers, 19 RBIs and 9 stolen bases, are showing the best hitting feeling since the MVP season. In particular, last year he picked 38 walks and struck out 150 times, but this year he walked 12 and struck out only 26 times, showing a different picture.
The official Major League homepage (MLB.com) also said of Bellinger on the 9th (Korean time), “The rate of strikeouts has decreased by about 8% compared to last year, and the attack on breaking balls is showing destructive power again.” Explain the reason for the change. Recently, ‘NBC Chicago’ also cited a decrease in strikeouts, an increase in walks, and an increase in line drive hits as factors for Bellinger’s revival, and said, “At this point, a little over the first month of the 2023 season, the Cubs front is receiving rewards for ‘gambling’. It seems to be,” he said, referring to the fact that the Cubs’ ‘gambling’ is leading to a ‘jackpot’.
Coincidentally, Bellinger signed a one-year contract with the Cubs, so if he maintains the same sense of hitting until the end of the season, there is a high possibility that he will be re-evaluated in the free agent market. Of course, he has not yet perfectly reproduced the hitting feeling of the 2019 season, when he won the MVP, but considering that he has suffered the worst due to frequent injuries and sluggishness in recent years, it is definitely a meaningful revival.