3 reasons the SF Giants should avoid center fielder Cody Bellinger
2. An uncharcteristically poor 2021 season
The injury history plays a part in this but the 2021 season from Cody Bellinger stands alone. Across 350 plate appearances, he managed a batting average of .165.
In the history of baseball, only seven players have had a season where they hit .165 or lower and had at least 350 plate appearances. Three of them have occurred since 2021. Bellinger produced a -1.7 bWAR during this season and provided negative defensive value.
The shoulder and leg injury likely played a role in his lack of production during 2021 but there should be no doubt that this could be a problem in the future and the fact that this type of season is in the range of outcomes for someone who should receive well above nine figures is a terrifying prospect.
The two previous issues with Cody Bellinger point to this one. The combination of the injury history and the cavernous 2021 season show two massive concerns for what will likely be a very high price. MLB Trade Rumors predicts that Cody Bellinger will receive a 12-year, $264 million pact in free agency.
The projected AAV of $22 million would be 47th in MLB which is reasonable but the time commitment would be a huge concern. In the same vein, the Giants backed out of a 13-year $350 million commitment to Carlos Correa due to injury concerns. It is tough to fathom that they would take the commitment leap with Bellinger who represents less production with similar or worse injury concerns.
On a different note, the lefty bat rejected a qualifying offer earlier this offseason. If the Giants signed him, they would lose their second-round pick and $500,000 in international bonus pool money. It has been nearly 10 years since the Giants signed a player who rejected a qualifying offer.