Dodgers: Cody Bellinger Identified as Must-Extend Player

Those of you who remember the Bryce Harper saga in the 2018 Winter will probably like the idea around this post. First off, Harper and his monstrous contract demands created drama for all teams involved; including the Los Angeles Dodgers.

However, the Dodgers could have a candidate for a multi-year contract extension on their roster currently.

Furthermore, Jim Bowden writes about ‘The Must-Extend Players for Each Team This Offseason’ over at The Athletic MLB. He says that Bellinger is a must-extend guy for the Dodgers even with his free agency not coming until after the 2023 season.

Here’s what Bowden had to say regarding the matter:

Los Angeles Dodgers
Cody Bellinger, RF, free agent after 2023

Bellinger has become a legitimate MVP candidate and one of the best players in the sport. The 24-year-old is slashing .308/.412/.651 with 30 doubles, 44 home runs and 104 RBIs. His 1745 OPS+ and 8.3 WAR is the best in the National League. The two-time All-Star has also become an elite defender in right field. The Dodgers would be wise to buy out his arbitration years while trying to secure at least two free-agent years.

Now, one might say that Bellinger should play a few more seasons to build the resumé a bit more before the Dodgers consider a long-term contract. While there is no argument that Bellinger is one of the game’s finest players, his peaks and valleys are well-known by the Dodgers.

Still, Bowden is a former general manager. Therefore, he knows the careful balance between when to approach a player for a long-term deal before said player begins to become very high-priced.

For instance, if the Dodgers approach Bellinger with a 10-year, $350 million dollar contract this off-season; he may be open to signing now for what is considered a more team-friendly deal. Of course, I am simply throwing that number out there for examples’ sake. On the other hand – if the organization waits and Bellinger continues to do his thing for another season or two – he might command a contract above $400 million or more.

Weigh-In: Should The Dodgers Sign Bellinger Long-Term Now?

Let us know in the comment section, do you feel that the Dodgers should lock up Cody Bellinger to a long-term contract this winter? And if so, what number and year amount would you approach him with? Do you think that Bellinger is the one player the Dodgers should consider committing to long-term? Why or why not?

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