3 reasons the SF Giants should avoid center fielder Cody Bellinger

The SF Giants are looking to make an FA splash this off-season, that much is clear. Yet, there is a difference of opinion amongst the fan base as to who that player should be. One of the most connected names to the Giants is Cody Bellinger. This is the case against Cody Bellinger being that major FA acquisition.

Chicago Cubs v Houston Astros
Chicago Cubs v Houston Astros / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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The SF Giants have been connected to star outfielder Cody Bellinger quite a bit this offseason. It remains to be seen as to whether they will land him but they were recently considered co-favorites as the organization appears anxious to make a big move this winter. What are some reasons why the Giants should avoid Bellinger?

3 reasons the SF Giants should avoid center fielder Cody Bellinger

The left-handed bat had a resurgent campaign after being non-tendered by the Los Angeles Dodgers last winter. He joined the Chicago Cubs on a one-year, $17.5 million with a $25 million mutual option for 2024.

However, he declined his portion of the mutual option after slashing .307/.356/.525 (133 OPS+) with 26 home runs, 97 RBI, and 95 runs in 556 plate appearances. This includes a 7.2 percent walk rate, 15.7 percent strikeout rate, and a .218 ISO.

The Giants are very much in need of a center fielder and Bellinger checks that box. That said, Bellinger had two below-average seasons before joining the Cubs, so there are more than just a couple of reasons to be skeptical.

1. Injury History

Bellinger seemed to return to his pre-2019 self in 2023 posting similar numbers as his better years. That said, the reason he has to return to form at all was the various lengthy injuries that kept him sidelined for large portions of 2021 and 2022.

Bellinger famously dislocated his shoulder during the 2020 NLCS celebrating a home run with teammate Kike Hernandez. He had surgery on the shoulder that offseason but the issue continued to plague him.

Bellinger admitted to weakness and lingering pain in his shoulder during the 2021 season which helped lead to a historically bad year. In April of 2021, Bellinger suffered a hairline fracture in his left fibula. In September of that same year, he fractured a rib. He also missed time with a hamstring issue. He also suffered a leg injury in 2022.

Now, I'm not a doctor but the shoulder injury is the scariest. It took Bellinger two full seasons to recover from the first dislocation and according to the Mayo Clinic Health System once the first dislocation occurs you are at an increased risk for another. It is tough to shell out large sums of cash with a long-term commitment to someone with that injury history.