If the Los Angeles Dodgers are ready to move on from Cody Bellinger, the Mariners could be at the top of the list of interested buyers.
Cody Bellinger was the N.L. Rookie of the Year in 2017, won MVP and Gold Glove honors in 2019, and helped the Dodgers win the World Series in 2020. However, after hitting .165 and playing in barely over 50% of the Dodgers’ games last season, it appears he could be on his way out of Los Angeles.
With ultra-utility man Chris Taylor re-signing in Los Angeles this offseason, star outfielder Mookie Betts, and first baseman Max Muncy (a position that Bellinger can also play at a high level) under contract for the next several seasons, L.A. would predictably be just fine in center field and first base without Bellinger’s services if they were to choose to deal him.
Bellinger’s massive regression last season is certainly cause for concern, but it could be the only circumstance that would ever make him available on the trade market. The Mariners, a team that can struggle to be successful in adding top talent through free agency, should be highly interested in any opportunity to bring in a potential star via trade (especially in a relatively “buy low” situation).
Since Bellinger can play both center field and first base, acquiring him could actually give Seattle major flexibility in their lineup; on days where Bellinger plays first, Ty France would have the opportunity to DH or get in work at third base, while young talents Taylor Trammell and (eventually) Julio Rodriguez could find some much-needed time in the outfield.
Starved for outfield depth in their minor league system, the Dodgers would surely be open to acquiring Seattle’s #6 prospect, outfielder Zach DeLoach, as a foundational piece in a potential deal. The Mariners also have massive depth in the pitching department, which Los Angeles can never seem to get enough of (both in their starting rotation and bullpen).