July 21, 2024

The roster needs of the New York Yankees are becoming obvious as the July 30 trade deadline approaches. First base is one of the Bombers’ issue spots. Should General Manager Brian Cashman try to sign outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger from the Chicago Cubs?

Evan Massey of Sports Illustrated believes it is something worth looking into.

“Anthony Rizzo is out due to injury, but even before his injury there were rumblings that the Yankees might want an upgrade,” he informed me. “As a result, several players were identified as prospective targets. Paul Goldschmidt, Pete Alonso, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and other players have been suggested as potential trade candidates. Now, a new name should be appealing.

“With the Chicago Cubs continuing to struggle of late, New York should think about pursuing a trade for star first baseman Cody Bellinger.”

The Cubs have lost four consecutive games and are in last place in the National League Central as of June 27. They are 37-44, 11 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers and five behind the last NL Wild Card slot.

Meanwhile, the Yankees have faced their own challenges. They have lost three consecutive games and eight of their past ten. New York still leads the American League East by one game over the Baltimore Orioles, with a record of 52-30. So they have a superior buying position than Chicago.

Bellinger Would Be a Huge Upgrade for New York

Although Bellinger’s 2024 productivity hasn’t exactly replicated his comeback 2023 season, it would still be a significant improvement to the Yankees’ lineup.

The lefty slugger slashed.Last year, Chicago had a 307/.356/.525 batting line with 26 home runs, 97 RBI, 95 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases. He re-signed with the Cubs this offseason for three years and $80 million. However, the current season (in which he earns $30 million) is his only guaranteed year at this time. Bellinger can opt out after 2024 and 2025 if he wants to test free agency again.

If the Cubs genuinely consider moving Bellinger, any interested teams will likely view him as a half-season rental. Regardless, he would be a valuable addition to many squads. Bellinger is hitting.This season, he had a 273/.333/.432 batting line with nine home runs, 34 RBI, and 32 runs scored in 291 plate appearances.

The Yankees will be without Rizzo for around two months after fracturing his forearm. However, his job as the starting first baseman was already being called into question due to early-season problems. Rizzo was hitting just.223/.289/.341 in 291 plate appearances before going on the injured list.

Bellinger & the Yankees Have Been Linked Together in the Past

Cody Bellinger Is Still Searching For A Ballclub


The concept of Bellinger joining the Yankees in the Bronx is not new. During his comeback 2023 season, he was on a one-year, $17.5 million contract. Chicago had planned to sell at the trade deadline, with him being a top contender to be dealt. A hot streak in July prompted the front office to shift strategy and keep all prospective trade possibilities.

But before that, there were whispers about how Bellinger would fit in with the Yankees. Those whispers persisted into the winter as he became free agent. On November 7, Jon Heyman of the New York Post claimed that Bellinger was at the top of the Yankees’ wish list to help improve their outfield.

That prospect faded after New York traded for Juan Soto at the start of December. However, with the Yankees seeking for additional offense and Chicago fast sliding out of contention, these whispers will undoubtedly resurface. Instead of immediately moving him to the outfield, Bellinger would most likely improve the underperforming right side of New York’s infield.

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