The predominant thinking regarding Cody Bellinger's long-awaited free agency is the Cubs are still the running favorites to re-sign the NL Comeback Player of the Year.
That may not be the case anymore, as a dark horse team appears to have entered the Bellinger sweepstakes.
"I know many people assume that it's a foregone conclusion that he's gonna sign with the Cubs," David Vassegh said on Dodger Talk. "And that may eventually happen, but from what I'm being told the Angels have interest in Cody Bellinger and have had discussions with Scott Boras about Cody Bellinger.
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"And we all know Arte Moreno, the Angels owner, when he spends big he spends big on offense. And the Angels do need a left-handed hitting outfielder. So it does make sense especially if they can move him between first base and center field the way the Cubs did with Bellinger, that he would be a very valuable piece for him."
Several reports around the league suggest the Cubs are outright favorites to sign Bellinger. And several teams have, in essence, eliminated themselves from the Bellinger sweepstakes (i.e. Yankees, Giants, Blue Jays). And the Cubs, who have signed one major player to their roster this offseason (Shota Imanaga), remain the most logical landing spot.
"Cubs need to make a move ... I do believe, at this point, that is the likelihood (re-signing Bellinger)," MLB Insider Jon Heyman said on a Bleacher Report live stream. "Not saying it's a guarantee in any way. I'll just say I would think they're probably the favorites at this moment."
However, MLB's Mark Feinsand recently reported the roadblock standing between a Cubs-Bellinger reunion is his asking price. According to the report, his asking price is north of $200 million. But every day the Cubs remain complacent and stubborn on Bellinger's asking price, the more danger it brings to the Cubs, according to Vassegh.
"The longer this goes on I feel like the odds of the Cubs keeping Cody Bellinger go down incrementally each day. I wouldn't be surprised if Bellinger doesn't sign until camps open up in a little under a month from now," Vassegh said.
Remember, the Angels big ploy this offseason was re-signing their star two-way player, Shohei Ohtani. Like all the suitors in for Ohtani, the Angels were willing to pony up the money, but weren't given the chance, as he signed with the Dodgers.
What's stopping the Angels from meeting Bellinger's expectations?
Remember, too, this could be Bellinger's agent, Scott Boras trying to get the Cubs --- or, any of Bellinger's potential suitors, for that matter --- to fear the chance of missing out on him and pony up the money. That's certainly not out of the wheelhouse of possibilities.
But, are the Cubs willing to take that risk? We'll find out soon enough.