CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs and former National League MVP Cody Bellinger finalized a $17.5 million, one-year contract on Wednesday.
Bellinger, the 2019 NL MVP, was cut by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Nov. 18 after the 27-year-old outfielder hit .210 with 19 homers, 150 strikeouts and a .654 OPS in 144 games. He figures to play center for the Cubs.
Bellinger was limited to 95 games during the 2021 regular season when he was on the injured list three times and batted .165. He hit .353 in 12 games in that postseason and had the go-ahead RBI single in Game 5 of the NL Division Series against the rival San Francisco Giants. Bellinger also had a tying, three-run homer against Atlanta in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series.
In 2020, Bellinger hit .239 with 12 home runs in 56 games during the pandemic-shortened season. He homered three times in the NLCS, and the Dodgers beat the Braves to reach the World Series. They went on to defeat Tampa Bay in six games to win the franchise’s first title since 1988.
Bellinger has battled injuries since his MVP season, including having surgery on his right shoulder in November 2020.
Before his precipitous drop-off, Bellinger was the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year and 2018 National League Championship Series MVP. He made two All-Star teams and won a Gold Glove in 2019.