Report: Dodgers to make OF Cody Bellinger a free agent

The Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to non-tender outfielder Cody Bellinger, multiple outlets reported Friday, in a move that would make the 2019 National League MVP a free agent.

Bellinger, 27, still had one more season of club control but at a projected salary of at least $18 million for 2023. The Dodgers still could work out a new deal with the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year, or he could move on to another club.

The two-time All-Star batted .210 with a .654 OPS last season, although those numbers were better than what he posted in 2021: .165 and .542. He had 19 home runs and 68 RBIs in 144 games last season after hitting 10 home runs with 36 RBIs in 2021.

During his MVP season, Bellinger batted .305 with a 1.035 OPS and hit 47 home runs with 115 RBIs.

The downfall for the Arizona native appeared to come during Game 7 of the 2020 National League Championship Series. Bellinger hit a go-ahead home run against the Atlanta Braves, in a victory that put Los Angeles into the World Series, but he partially dislocated his shoulder in a celebration with teammate Enrique Hernandez.

Bellinger had a surgical procedure to repair the shoulder that offseason, then came away with a leg injury early in the 2021 season that cost him nearly two months.

Over six seasons and 745 games with the Dodgers, Bellinger is a career .248 hitter with an .819 OPS and has 152 home runs with 422 RBIs. He is considered a well-above defensive player in center field and at first base.

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