2) NY Mets free agent target to revisit at the trade deadline: Cody Bellinger
Cody Bellinger was one of the players fans considered a viable option to replace Brandon Nimmo if he left in center field. They would have been buying low on the former MVP who was non-tendered by the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason.
Bellinger ended up signing with the Chicago Cubs where he’ll look to rebuild his free agent stock. There is little doubt Bellinger has talent. It’s a matter of re-tapping into it before anyone shows significant interest in him.
For the Mets, Bellinger could be anything from a replacement for an injured starter to a depth piece. As a left-handed hitter, he probably wouldn’t make sense for the DH spot with Daniel Vogelbach around. However, if Vogey stinks up the joint, perhaps the Mets think about moving Mark Canha or Starling Marte to DH duties a little more often and bring in Bellinger to bolster the defense. As poorly as he has hit in recent years, Bellinger remains a good defensive player.
There is a mutual option for 2024 on Bellinger’s contract. The Cubs would have reason to keep him around if he performs well, regardless of how the team is doing. He won’t turn 28 until July. He is on the ultimate “prove it” kind of contract with every chance to play regularly in Chicago this season.
The best chance of Bellinger landing with the Mets in a trade might be if they feel they have no other options out there. If Bellinger is his old self, expect the Cubs to want a ransom for him. If he’s a poor hitter but mashing righties, maybe the Mets see him as a potential platoon partner or Vogelbach upgrade. At least he can play the field.