Lee Jung-hoo (26, San Francisco Giants) made the best contract among FA outfielders in the Major League this winter. It was revealed that the team agreed to a six-year, $113 million contract on the 12th of last month (Korean time), and the team’s official announcement was made three days later, receiving special treatment.
Nearly a month has passed since then, but there is still no contract that exceeds Lee Jung-hoo among FA outfielders this winter. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who remained with the Arizona Diamondbacks for three years and $42 million, is the second biggest contract after Lee Jung-hoo. Giant outfielder Teoscar Hernandez agreed to a one-year, $23.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on the 8th (Korean time), but it is not a multi-year contract.헤라카지노도메인
Although the market is affected by the lack of FA outfielders, Cody Bellinger (30), who has been noted as the biggest hitter, has yet to find a new team. He is aiming for a large long-term contract worth more than $200 million with “super agent” Scott Boras, but the market evaluation is cold. USA Today Sports said on the 8th that “Bellinger, a former MVP who succeeded in his comeback last year, seems to have no serious interest other than the Chicago Cubs.”
Initially, Bellinger’s destinations were expected to be San Francisco, the New York Yankees, and the Toronto Blue Jays, which need to strengthen their outfielders. However, San Francisco recruited Lee Jung-hoo, and the Yankees acquired Juan Soto, Trent Grisham, and Alex Verdugo through a trade to fill the outfield. Toronto also renewed its contract with key center fielder Kevin Kiermaier for one year and 10.5 million dollars.
The race to recruit Bellinger is not as hot as he thought, apparently due to his risk. Bellinger, who won the National League (NL) Rookie of the Year award with 39 home runs as soon as he debuted with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017, received the MVP award in 2019 as he had the best season with a batting average of .35 (170 for 558) with 47 home runs and 115 RBIs and an OPS 1.035. While he wanted to dominate the league at the age of 24, his performance declined in 2020.
Unfortunately, he underwent surgery after dislocating his shoulder while performing a home run ceremony in Game 7 of the 2020 NL Championship Series. In 2021, he sustained injuries to his shin, hamstring, and ribs. In the meantime, his batting balance collapsed, and he had no clue. There were no major injuries in 2022, but he failed to rebound in the end. Eventually, he left the Dodgers after being released as a non-tender and moved to a new team by signing a one-year, 17.5 million-dollar contract with the Cubs.
Some teams offered multi-year contracts, but Bellinger opted for a one-year contract to see the outcome as an FA. He bounced back after a desperate attempt. He bounced back with a batting average of .377 (153 hits in 499 times at bat) with 26 homers and 97 RBIs in 130 games last year, an OPS of .881. Since his debut, he has improved his accuracy and ability to select pitches by posting the highest batting average and lowest strikeout ratio (15.7%). While he was interested in joining the FA market to seek a big hit, no team has offered a large long-term contract probably out of concern that he would be able to display stellar performance for a year.
The prevailing view is that the Cubs will eventually return to their original team. USA Today Sports reported that the Cubs have no FA or trade recruitment throughout the winter, but they will be the most aggressive team in the league for the next five weeks. In addition to renewing their contract with Bellinger, who has not expressed interest in other teams, they can also recruit starters Matt Chapman, the third baseman, and Reece Hoskins, the first baseman. The offseason has just begun.
The Cubs surprisingly appointed former Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who was the biggest manager after the last season, as their new head coach, but they didn’t spend any money except for a few minor league contracts. Attention is focusing on how much money they will invest in Bellinger while taking a wait-and-see approach to the market.