The Los Angeles Dodgers managed to do one final piece of business before the MLB lockout on December 1st. According to multiple reports, the Dodgers agreed to a one-year deal with Cody Bellinger that will see 2019’s NL MVP earn $17 million next season.
By agreeing to a new deal, the two sides avoided arbitration. This also means that Bellinger, who played on a one-year, $16.1 million contract last season, has one arbitration year left and can become an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
The reason why the news got out just now is because the teams don’t talk about business involving players during the lockout. The news won’t even become official until the work stoppage is over, something that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.
Cody Bellinger looked primed for an early big extension after tearing through the league in 2019 and winning the MVP honors on the back of a .305 batting average, 47 homers, and 115 RBIs. Since then, however, his performances saw a sharp decline that culminated in his career-worst year in 2021.
In 95 games last season, Bellinger hit just .195 while finishing the year with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs. He did improve in the postseason, however, accounting for 12 hits, one homer, and 11 RBIs.