Ex-NL MVP Cody Bellinger drops the strongest hint at joining the Yankees

Cody Bellinger's father Clay won two World Series with the Yankees.
Sara Molnick
Sunday July 9, 2023

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Ex-NL MVP and Cubs’ outfielder Cody Bellinger has hinted at his inclination to play for the Yankees. He has opened up about the significance of the Yankees, a team his father once played for, to both him and his family in the light of ongoing MLB trade speculations.

“The Yankees obviously mean a lot to our family,” Cody Bellinger said and emphasized that playing for them is a unique and special experience, according to Max Goodman of NJ Advance Media.

Cody Bellinger’s Yankees love

While there are ongoing rumors linking Cody Bellinger to the Yankees, he openly expressed his affection for the team. He emphasized the special significance the Yankees hold in his heart, as his father, Clay, was a part of the team’s success during the Core Four dynasty, winning two World Series rings in 1999 and 2000.

As the MLB trade deadline approaches, the Yankees front office is likely aware of the connection between Cody Bellinger and the team. With the Yankees lineup struggling in the absence of Aaron Judge, Cody Bellinger has been frequently mentioned as a potential target for New York.

Cubs' Cody Bellinger is a possible Yankees trade target in 2023.

Since his MVP season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cody Bellinger has shown a resurgence in performance, posting his highest OPS in 56 games with the Cubs. Having signed a one-year deal with the Cubs this offseason, he could be one of the top rental bats available if the Cubs decide to sell at the trade deadline.

Reflecting on his past, Cody Bellinger fondly remembers the times he spent at the old Yankee Stadium with his father. He recalls visiting the playroom where players’ children and young relatives would gather. The memories of the championship parades in downtown New York City after the back-to-back World Series victories in 1999 and 2000 are also etched in his mind.

Cody Bellinger acknowledged the significance of his father’s role in the championship runs and expressed his admiration for the Yankees. He described playing for the team as a truly special experience.

Cody Bellinger is on a roll

His performance on Friday undoubtedly demonstrated why he could be an excellent addition to the Yankees’ roster.

During his inaugural at-bat at Yankee Stadium, Cody Bellinger smashed a home run deep into the second deck of right field off Carlos Rodón, marking his ninth homer of the season. Throughout the game, he further contributed with a single, a stolen base, a walk, and another run scored, resulting in a 3-0 victory. With a .303 batting average, a .861 OPS, 43 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases in 56 games, Bellinger’s overall performance highlights his impressive statistics.

Based on his remarks, it appears that Cody Bellinger would welcome a trade with the Yankees without any qualms.

Considering the uncertainty surrounding the availability of Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani, both exceptional left-handed hitters, Cody Bellinger could emerge as the top left-handed hitting option in the upcoming trade deadline. Coincidentally, the Yankees are in need of outfield reinforcements, and Cody Bellinger would seamlessly fit into the left field position alongside Harrison Bader in center and Aaron Judge in right, once Judge recovers from his toe injury later in the season.

According to an MLB scout who spoke with NJ Advance Media, Cody Bellinger could be an excellent addition to the Yankees, providing a much-needed boost to their offensive production.

In the lead-up to yesterday’s game, Cody Bellinger had been on an impressive 11-game hitting streak. However, what went unnoticed by many was the peculiar nature of that streak. His slash line during those 11 games: .415/.432/.463. The entirety of his hits consisted of singles.

The question

Throughout those 11 games, Cody Bellinger recorded 15 singles, along with 2 doubles, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. He displayed remarkable consistency in hitting singles, resembling a well-oiled machine in that regard.

The new Yankees target, Cody Bellingan in action for Chicago Cubs.
AP Photo/Matt York

It was quite strange to witness! Cody Bellinger adopting a high-contact, low-exit-velocity, singles-oriented approach is not typical of his usual style of play. It’s not a version of him that we would normally associate with his long-term performance. Additionally, it was unlikely that his .447 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) would be sustainable.

That’s why his display of power in yesterday’s game was such an encouraging sign. It could be seen as a one-game anomaly, but we must consider that Cody Bellinger had recently returned from a prolonged absence due to a knee bone bruise. While he clearly hadn’t lost his ability to make contact during that time, it’s common for power to be the last element to return after a slump. The process typically involves getting the body back in shape, refining the swing mechanics, making better swing decisions, and then the power naturally follows (for power hitters, of course).

With the hits he accumulated yesterday, Cody Bellinger extended his hitting streak to 12 games, matching his career high in that regard.

After his impressive performance yesterday, Cody Bellinger’s statistics since his return from the knee injury now stand at .361/.379/.459 with 127 wRC+. While his numbers are still heavily influenced by a high batting average on balls in play, it’s worth noting his excellent 15.2% strikeout rate.

For the season as a whole, Cody Bellinger is batting .298/.352/.486 with a 123 wRC+. His peripheral stats, such as a 7.7% walk rate and an 18.0% strikeout rate, all appear satisfactory or even positive. However, the metrics related to contact quality raise concerns. His average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage have reached career-low levels this season. It’s essential to see improvements in these areas to have confidence in his ability to maintain his current offensive performance throughout the rest of the season.

Furthermore, when comparing Cody Bellinger’s numbers from 2021 to 2022, the decline is evident, even though he may have left those down years behind him in 2023 with the Cubs.

Additionally, there are financial considerations to take into account. If the Yankees were to acquire Cody Bellinger, they would be responsible for covering the remainder of his $17.5 million salary for this season. They would also be on the hook for his $5.5 million buyout after the season unless both parties agree to exercise a mutual option for the 2024 season.

However, there are several enticing aspects to Cody Bellinger’s potential acquisition. His exceptional defensive skills would greatly benefit the team. Moreover, his power to the pull side would be a perfect fit for the short porch at Yankee Stadium. Another valuable attribute is his ability to consistently make contact, rarely striking out. Considering the underwhelming performance the Yankees have received from their third outfield spot this season, acquiring Cody Bellinger would represent a significant upgrade if he becomes available in the coming weeks.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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24 thoughts on “Ex-NL MVP Cody Bellinger drops the strongest hint at joining the Yankees

  1. I love the Yankees too. Does that mean I should get to play for them before the deadline?

  2. The Yankees have got to do something major now to make it to October. Their Mwndoza line hitters are not going to do it.

  3. The Yankees have got to do something major now to make it to October. Their Mwndoza line hitters are not going to do it.

  4. Lets do it!!!
    We have one legit Lefty in the lineup.
    We could definitely use another lefty bat with power

  5. Let’s see… McKinney, Bauer, Cabrera, Kiner-Falafa…..or Cody Bellinger. I say trade them all for him!! Good trade!!

  6. The first chip just fell they Fired there hitting coach one down and a lot more to go, don’t forget to include Boone and Cashman oh and Bellinger won’t help.

  7. The 3 Blind Mice : Cashman , Levine and Boone need to work for a Minor League Team !!!. They are the Yankees worst enemy . Irregardless, wat the Steinbrenner Empire thinks , The truth hurts . Yankees have been on a down slope ever since they disrespected Joe Girardi !!!.
    Little do U Yankee executives know 4 a fact was…. Joe Girardi was a Justin Verlander away from winning another World Series Championship when he was up for grab w the Houston Astros.
    Wat a damn shame !!!. That’s all the Yankees would’ve needed to beat the Astros and roll rite thru Dodgers to take it all !!!. Maybe U Executive Stunads dnt wanna hear it but , sometimes the truth Hurts !!!. Put some Salt on those wounds and get ur Asses together and Do The Rite Thing and Clean House !!!. Enough Said !

  8. Yes if the price is not too high . Why do they play Franchy over Cabrera ? Makes no sense develop your younger players . DFA Donaldson use IKF more at third .

  9. Bring Peraza up. Get rid of Donaldson and Stanton. If they don’t get off to a good start in the second half,fire Boone!

    1. The Yankees rely too much on home runs !
      It’s the single, double hitters that chip away inning after inning. Sure everyone goes wild for the long ball and I do too. However, the 260+ average guys like Bader, DJ, etc win more games in the long run than the “Master Blasters”. IMO. I believe there is historical metrics would substantiate my opinion. Cody looks he would fit into that group.

      1. Yes, Richard, the historical metrics do support your argument.As a Cub , Red Sox and A’s guy, that kinda makes me a moneyball disciple lol. So, I’m very impressed with your assessment of how such a dynamic would yield better results, over a longer period and larger sample size of games . I mean, does it really take a guy with an ivy league background in statistics and economics to appreciate the practical nature of this argument?.Bill James maybe have gotten a lot of praise for this , but in historical context, it’s been around for much longer . You can look at any team playoff or championship roster , and compare to any ” middle of the road” or underachieving roster in recent history, using even remedial metrics / statistics, to support your argument for having more consistent performance on different areas ,being more effective than simply power stats , or velocity , respectfully. If you have high team OBP., OPS , Avg, E.R.A , K/.BB ratio ,WHIP production , over a season , you’re more likely to have playoff success . Even if ” chicks dig the long ball” lol.

  10. The last time the Yankees won a championship, as a team they hit over . 270, now they have only two players hitting over . 270, Judge and IKF…for me it’s a no brainier, bring in Bellinger…and, a tidbit, teams that set homerun records, don’t win championships… it’s in the stats!

  11. Cubs desperately need a first baseman more than anything right now. If they trade Belli, they’re going to want someone substantial to fit that deal. Obviously it won’t be Rizzo and, by the looks of it, Yanks fall very short in the infielder department especially in their farm system for potential first baseman.

    On the other side of the coin, they also need another starter and some pen help. Yankees have a throng of possibilities in that department and I could see them trying their hand at a top 5. However I believe they’ll look to swing Belli for a first baseman as their top priority.

  12. This IS a no-brainer. Everything about this guy screams everything they need right now. LH bat…contact, low-strikeout hitter…great defender who can play multiple positions…and, last but not least, not only a championship pedigree of his own w/Dodgers, but his dad won 2 WS here. All this for what…$15M? To anybody who would argue against throwing the kitchen sink at Bellinger: Are you kidding me? Are you KIDDING ME?!?

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