Throughout the offseason the CBS Sports MLB experts will bring you a weekly Batting Around roundtable breaking down pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Cody Bellinger.. This week we're going to do the same with
Where will Bellinger sign? How much will he get?
R.J. Anderson: I put down Bellinger for six years and $180 million. I think he might have the widest error bars of any top free agent because it's a weird profile. I'll stand by that number by now, and I'll have him joining the Yankees. They need some offensive help, and Bellinger's ability to play center field would make him a solid fit.
Dayn Perry: Yeah, Bellinger is definitely the most interesting case of the offseason. The bounceback was impressive, and there's ample cause to believe that injuries drove his post-MVP struggles with the Dodgers. His uninspiring quality-of-contact readings are going to be a concern for some teams, but then again some teams will be impressed by his improved contact numbers. He's also just 28, which is pretty young as stateside free agents go, and can still play an up-the-middle position. I'll say the Giants land him for eight years and $195 million.
Matt Snyder: I think Bellinger's an excellent fit with the Yankees, so I'll also pick them to land the lefty slugger. He'll provide great value in center field there and will enjoy the short porch in right field to help alleviate some of those quality of contact concerns that so many people have from last season. I think a lot of those concerns were merited early in the season and also that he was a legitimate middle-order stud through the middle of the season. Confidence can matter, too, and I'll bet some of that was in play once his numbers looked pretty good early in the season. Somewhere in the range of what R.J. said seems about right, but in the spirit of not copying his work, I'll go a little higher: Seven years and $200 million.
Mike Axisa: Bellinger's fascinating because his performance was so good and the underlying numbers were so meh (though they were much better in the second half). The true Bellinger is probably somewhere in the middle, and that's still a really good player. I'm going to go off the board slightly and say the Blue Jays sign Bellinger. They definitely need a lefty bat, and while Bellinger isn't Kevin Kiermaier defensively (few are), he's very good and would help approximate the stellar defensive outfield Toronto had this year. I'm also going to say Bellinger's contract will be larger than expected. Put me down for 10 years and $245 million.