Yankees dilemma: Cody Bellinger’s marketability soars, but at what cost?

cody-bellinger
LA Times
Amanda Paula
Thursday November 30, 2023

Table of Contents

In the ongoing quest to bolster their outfield roster during the offseason, the New York Yankees find themselves navigating the intricate landscape of player acquisitions. Amidst the speculative chatter surrounding potential additions to the Bronx Bombers, Cody Bellinger has emerged as a notable figure of interest for the team.

What’s going on?

Despite the prevailing focus on a potential move for Juan Soto from the Padres, the Yankees have maintained a persistent interest in Cody Bellinger since the trade deadline. The 28-year-old outfielder, previously with the Chicago Cubs, is now a free agent, opening the door for potential suitors to engage in negotiations.

Recent reports, as relayed by Brendan Kuty of The Athletic, indicate that the Yankees remain actively involved in discussions with Bellinger’s representatives. However, an apparent hurdle in the negotiations arises in the form of the outfielder’s asking price, described by Kuty as “a bit steep.”

While the precise monetary figure remains undisclosed, the report suggests that the Yankees have encountered resistance due to the perceived high cost associated with securing Bellinger’s services.

This revelation comes after the Cubs opted to retain Bellinger during the preceding summer. Now, with his status as a free agent, the outfielder’s marketability has surged, courtesy of a commendable performance in the 2023 season under a $17.5 million deal with the Cubs. During this season, Bellinger showcased his prowess by achieving a batting average of .307, an on-base percentage of .356, and a slugging percentage of .525. Notably, he contributed significantly with 26 home runs and 97 runs batted in (RBI), further enhancing his allure in the free-agent market. As the Yankees weigh their options and evaluate the outfield landscape, the pursuit of Bellinger aligns with their ongoing efforts to fortify the team’s roster. Concurrently, the team has also been linked extensively to Juan Soto, another prominent outfielder.

Soto’s potential availability arises from the Padres’ desire to alleviate payroll burdens, making him an intriguing prospect for the Yankees. Juan Soto, a three-time All-Star, delivered a formidable performance in the previous season, boasting a .275 batting average accompanied by 35 home runs and 109 RBI. The Padres, amidst their financial considerations, may be inclined to make Soto available for acquisition, presenting the Yankees with a compelling alternative should negotiations with Bellinger prove insurmountable.

As the offseason progresses, the Yankees find themselves at the intersection of strategic decision-making, financial considerations, and the pursuit of top-tier talent to reinforce their outfield. The dynamics of player negotiations, characterized by evolving asking prices and competitive interest, add a layer of complexity to the team’s efforts. Whether Cody Bellinger ultimately dons the pinstripes or the Yankees explore alternative avenues, the ongoing saga of offseason maneuvers continues to captivate the baseball community.

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One thought on “Yankees dilemma: Cody Bellinger’s marketability soars, but at what cost?

  1. Spend the money on Bellinger. There is no guaranty that if we trade away top level prospects for Juan Soto, that the Yankees will be able to sign Soto after 2024 season.

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