The SF Giants reportedly made their first big move of the offseason on Tuesday, inking star KBO outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee to a six-year, $113 million pact. Could they be poised to land another outfielder in Cody Bellinger?
Are the SF Giants poised to land another outfielder after Jung-Hoo Lee addition?
Bob Nightengale of USA Today suggests that the Giants could still be in the mix for Bellinger even after signing Lee. Interestingly, he adds that the Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, and the San Diego Padres were in the mix for Lee as well.
Toronto feels like a good fit for Bellinger after they missed out on Shohei Ohtani despite initial reports indicating he was signing with the Blue Jays. That said, Bellinger's camp is rumored to be seeking $250 million in free agency.
He has the upside to justify a contract of that amount, but he also had a rough 2021-2022 stretch that led to him being non-tendered by the Los Angeles Dodgers. last winter He latched on with the Cubs for a one-year, $17.5 million pact with a mutual option for 2024.
The left-handed bat registered a .307/.356/.525 line (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 .218 ISO while receiving down-ballot MVP votes.
Not surprisingly, Bellinger declined his portion of the mutual option to re-enter free agency in a class that is light on impact position players. The 28-year-old is on the younger side, so he has that in his favor and will likely receive a longer-term deal as a result of it.
The Giants could still look to add another outfielder, but it feels like a fourth outfielder-type makes more sense, especially one who is a reliable defender. However, the Giants now have a surplus of outfielders following the reported Lee signing.
The KBO star joins Mitch Haniger, Michael Conforto, Austin Slater, and Mike Yastrzemski as outfielders who are under contract for 2024. Plus, Luis Matos could be in the mix as well. It could mean that a trade is on the horizon and a Bellinger signing feels like less of a priority after the Lee move.