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Yankees fans have long clamored for prized center fielder Cody Bellinger to don the pinstripes, including at the 2023 MLB trade deadline.
Though a trade was not to be, they get one more crack at the former MVP this offseason as he’s now a free agent.
Oddsmakers aren’t making them the favorite to land Bellinger, though, as the Chicago Cubs are the favorites (+250) to retain the prized lefty slugger.
The Yankees own the second-best odds at +330, giving them a 23.26 percent chance to sign Bellinger, per DraftKings.
Bellinger was signed by the Cubs in the 2022 offseason on a one-year deal worth $17.5 million, and hit free agency after a very successful season on the North Side.
Cody Bellinger next team odds Chicago Cubs +250 (28.57 percent) New York Yankees +330 (23.26 percent) San Francisco Giants +550 (15.38 percent) New York Mets +550 (15.38 percent) Los Angeles Dodgers +700 (12.50 percent) San Diego Padres +800 (11.11 percent) Field (any team not on this list) +900 (10.00 percent) Houston Astros +1000 (9.09 percent) Seattle Mariners +1100 (8.33 percent) Los Angeles Angels +1300 (7.14 percent) Arizona Diamondbacks +1400 (6.67 percent) Philadelphia Phillies +1400 (6.67 percent) Odds provided by DraftKings
The 28-year-old hit .307 with 26 home runs, 97 RBIs and an .881 OPS while tying for the 53rd-best fWAR (4.1) in MLB during 2023, according to Fangraphs, a renaissance year for the 2019 NL MVP winner.
He was third in WAR in that 2019 season, behind only Mike Trout and Alex Bregman.
Cody Bellinger is one of the best fielders in baseball. Getty Images
That the Cubs are heavily in the mix for Bellinger is no surprise since he helped them enjoy a solid season that ultimately fell short of the playoffs.
Many expected him to be trade bait headed into the deadline, but an impressive turnaround by the team and now-ex-manager David Ross spoiled plans to be major trade deadline sellers.
The Cubs held the third-worst record in baseball in May, going 10-18.
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But those trade plans completely flipped as their record after May 31 was the 10th-best in MLB, giving them a shot at playoff berth before they fizzled late.
The Yankees will be strong contenders for Bellinger’s service since he would fit a major void in their offense as they have become too right-handed reliant.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said at the GM meetings the team wants to bring in two outfielders this offseason who are “preferably left-handed.”
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