Joc Pederson is taking a crack at recruiting Aaron Judge to the Giants.
The Toronto Blue Jays contacted Cody Bellinger's camp after he was non-tendered by the Los Angeles Dodgers, a source told Jon Morosi of MLB Network.The Blue Jays had prior trade talks with the Dodgers about Bellinger, according to Morosi.The San Francisco Giants have also approached the 2019 NL MVP, a source told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Giants are reportedly interested in Brandon Nimmo as well. The team could use some star power in an outfield that currently consists of LaMonte Wade Jr., Luis Gonzalez, Mike Yastrzemski, and Joc Pederson.Bellinger's agent, Scott Boras, said the player has already turned down multi-year deals, instead focusing on a one-year contract because of his age, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.The 27-year-old is an above-average outfielder with a left-handed bat. However, he's struggled significantly at the plate over the last two seasons after being one of the most potent hitters in baseball from 2017-19. Bellinger has slashed .193/.256/.355 with 29 homers over 239 games since the start of the 2021 campaign after registering 111 round-trippers with a .927 OPS across his first three years in the majors.The Blue Jays are looking for an outfielder after trading Teoscar Hernandez to the Seattle Mariners. George Springer has said he's willing to move out of center field to help the team.Toronto could also add a left-handed bat to a lineup that was extremely righty-heavy in 2022.Copyright © 2022 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
Cody Bellinger is a free agent after the Los Angeles Dodgers decided to non-tender the 2019 NL MVP following a massive offensive decline over the past two seasons.Despite his struggles at the plate, Bellinger still presents plenty of intrigue since he's only 27, is a solid defensive outfielder, and brings a left-handed bat with power, and will likely sign a one-year deal cheaper than the $18.1 million he was set to make through arbitration.Bellinger's agent, Scott Boras, said the player has already turned down multi-year pacts, instead focusing on a one-year contract because of his age, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.Los Angeles has acknowledged it's interested in a reunion. However, here are five other landing spots for Bellinger as he tests the open market.Boston Red SoxThe Red Sox need outfield help, and playing at a hitter's park like Fenway could revitalize Bellinger's career before he tests free agency again after the 2023 campaign. The two-time All-Star can also man first base, which would be a bonus for Boston because rookie Triston Casas is currently projected to start the campaign as the regular first baseman. Bellinger, who's logged 262 games at first over his career, could be a good insurance policy. The one drawback for Bellinger is that he'd be playing in the pressure cooker that is Boston, even though the club isn't expected to contend next season. Red Sox fans wouldn't be forgiving if he continues to struggle, which isn't exactly what players need when trying to rediscover their game.Chicago White SoxThe White Sox have a glaring hole in the outfield. Prospect Oscar Colas is currently projected as the starting right fielder, but it's hard to envision a team with playoff aspirations going with a 24-year-old rookie to start 2023. Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez have also dealt with significant injuries during their brief careers. Signing Bellinger would help Chicago fill a void if either star outfielder were to miss long stretches next season. Bellinger would also have to deal with less pressure hitting in a good lineup that already features Robert, Jimenez, Tim Anderson, Andrew Vaughn, Yasmani Grandal, and Yoan Moncada.San Francisco GiantsSeeing Bellinger in a Giants uniform would be weird considering he spent six years with the rival Dodgers, which included a fierce five-game NLDS in 2021. Regardless of the history, San Francisco has the money to spend to add some star power to an outfield featuring LaMonte Wade Jr., Luis Gonzalez, Mike Yastrzemski, and Joc Pederson. Bellinger, who went deep 19 times in 2022, could add another long-ball threat to a team that had only one player record 20-plus home runs. The 2017 NL Rookie of the Year could also be a contingency plan if Aaron Judge re-signs with the New York Yankees.Texas RangersThe Rangers could give Bellinger an opportunity to play center field - a position he's logged 321 contests at. The former Gold Glover has also amassed 34 defensive runs saved in the outfield throughout his career. Bellinger is familiar with Globe Life Field, as he hit three homers there in 2020 between the NLCS and World Series en route to the Dodgers' title. However, he also infamously dislocated his shoulder celebrating one of those long balls - an injury that changed the trajectory of his career.Toronto Blue JaysThe Blue Jays have a Teoscar Hernandez-sized hole in their outfield after trading the star slugger to the Seattle Mariners. Toronto is reportedly interested in adding Brandon Nimmo through free agency, but the former New York Mets star is the best outfielder available outside of Judge and should have plenty of suitors lined up. The Blue Jays could look at Bellinger as a backup plan. The club is looking for a left-handed bat to balance out a lineup that was extremely righty-heavy last season, and George Springer has already said he's willing to move out of center field to help the team. Bellinger would have a chance to play at a great hitter's park in Toronto without the pressure of being "the guy" in a very deep offense. Copyright © 2022 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
The return of Joc Pederson means Tommy La Stella will need to be an infield option if he's back on the 2023 roster. Plus, why the Giants DFA'd Jason Vosler and Jarlin Garcia.
Joc Pederson accepting the $19.65 million qualifying offer makes sense for a Giants team that prefers shorter-term, higher annual value deals.