Cody Bellinger’s agent, Scott Boras, said “the marketplace was very different” for Bellinger than the value the Dodgers had placed on him.
Back in November, the Dodgers were faced with a very tough decision. Cody Bellinger was heading into his final year of arbitration eligibility, and Los Angeles had to decide whether to keep him and pay him at least $18 million in arbitration or non-tender him and let him become a free agent.
In the end, LA decided to make Bellinger a free agent, and while they originally hoped to re-sign him to a more team-friendly deal, that didn’t happen. According to Jorge Castillo in the Los Angeles Times, Bellinger’s agent, Scott Boras, never expected it to get to that point.
“The truth of it is until he was non-tendered, I really did not really have a lot of conversations with the Dodgers because I felt it was rather a matter of fact that he would continue with them because they had rights over him,” Scott Boras, Bellinger’s agent, said last week. “I had no idea that they would non-tender him.”
Now, if Boras really had no idea the Dodgers would non-tender Belli, he must not have access to the internet or the radio or television. It was one of the biggest talking points in Los Angeles for the week or two leading up to the decision. It was always a possibility, and Boras obviously knew that.
Boras thinks Los Angeles probably misjudged the market, though. While they were ostensibly hoping to sign him to a lesser deal, he ended up signing for $17.5 million with the Cubs. In fact, the very day Bellinger was non-tendered, it became pretty clear there was going to be a lot of demand for his services.
Boras said 11 teams contacted him regarding Bellinger the day he was let go. Bellinger eventually agreed on a one-year contract worth $17.5 million guaranteed with the Cubs during the winter meetings. …
“The marketplace was very different as to what the Dodgers thought Cody’s value was,” Boras said.
The Dodgers definitely put a value on Bellinger, and what the Cubs paid exceeded that value. It’s not pretty sometimes, but LA’s general refusal to pay players more than they’re worth is one of the reasons they remain competitive year after year.