The SF Giants have been connected to center fielder Cody Bellinger this winter. In fact, they have been considered co-favorites by one MLB insider. We looked at the reasons against signing Bellinger, but what are the reasons to sign him?
3 reasons why the SF Giants should sign Cody Bellinger this offseason
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
1. Fills Immediate Defensive Hole
The SF Giants have one of the most expansive outfields in all of baseball. This places a large emphasis on defense in both CF and RF. Since 2022, the Giants have run a platoon in CF with Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Slater with mixed results.
Over that time, Yaz and Slater managed 3 and 2 outs above average (OAA) in CF, respectively. Meanwhile, Bellinger has produced 11 OAA in CF since 2022 and that is while spending 59 games at 1B in 2023.
The Giants finished last season -15 in defensive runs saved, only seven teams had a lower total. Bellinger would immediately give the Giants an elite defensive CF allowing Slater and Yastrzemski to move to their more natural RF positioning while allowing Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger to split time in LF.
This would likely see an improvement in defense in both corners immediately making the Giants a much better defensive team. The addition of Cody Bellinger would not only provide the Giants with an elite CF but would set up the rest of the OF for increased defensive success.