Did the Miami Marlins miss out on a CF?

Cody Bellinger
Cody Bellinger / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Before the Miami Marlins made the controversial decision to move Jazz Chisholm Jr. to CF, there was another option... The Fish could've signed former National League MVP Cody Bellinger in free agency. I even advocated for that to happen. It didn't though, and Bellinger signed a one year contract with the Chicago Cubs for $12.5 million. The contract came with a mutual option for the same amount (or a $5 million buyout for 2024). Should The Fish have made a stronger push?

Did the Miami Marlins miss out on Cody Bellinger?

Cody Bellinger had an interesting career, that up until this season was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bellinger debuted with a bang in 2017, delivering a .267/.352/.581 batting line with 39 home runs and 97 RBI in 132 games and 480 AB. That debut was worth 3.9 WAR and immediately put him on a map as a new star.

In 2018, Bellinger follwed that up with a .260/.343/.470 batting line along with 25 home runs and 76 RBI in 162 games and 557 AB. It was a disappointing follow-up. In 2019, Bellinger produced a phenomenal .305/.406/.629 batting line with 47 home runs and 115 RBI. This was Bellinger's trademark season. He was worth a Major League leading 8.6 WAR and won the National League MVP award.

2020 turned out to be a lost season for Bellinger. An injury at the end of the 2019 season, led to Bellinger's career going on a downward spiral. He batted an abysmal .239/.333/.455 during the shortened season. He was expected to bounce back in 2021, but that didn't happen. He batted an abysmal .165/.240/.302, with 10 home runs and 36 RBI in 95 games and 315 AB. Things continued going badly for Bellinger...

In 2022, Cody Bellinger batted .210/.265/.389 with 19 home runs and 68 RBI in 144 games and 504 AB. At this point there was a serious question on whether Bellinger would ever be the player that he once was. He signed with the Chicago Cubs to turn his career around, and is currently batting .300/.380/.550. Is he back to his 2019 form? Bellinger's EV was 91.5 in 2019 and is just 86.8 this season. I suspect that he won't be a power threat this season. At least like he used to be.

Was not signing Cody Bellinger a mistake for the Miami Marlins? I still think it's too early to say. If we ignore the financials, then signing him would've helped the OF quite a bit. However, the team's payroll constraints and the risk of the unknown (he was terrible for 3 prior seasons), make the non-signing understandable.

dark. Next. A.J. Puk has a secret...