cody bellinger yankees rumors
Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports

In the early stages of the trade deadline rumor mill, it seemed like Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger was destined to join the Yankees. But then, Chicago got hot and took him off the market, while the Bombers decided to essentially stand pat and do next to nothing.

We still have a month left of regular-season baseball. With the potential of New York producing its worst performance in about three decades, we know Hal Steinbrenner wants some answers. Could this year’s disaster lead to him OKing more big spending this offseason?

Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting exactly that. As he finishes up a huge bounce-back campaign in the Windy City, Bellinger is preparing to get paid handsomely for it. Through 450 plate appearances, he’s hitting .320/.364/.552 with 23 home runs, 84 RBI, 79 runs scored, and 19 steals. That susses out to a 143 wRC+ and 4.0 fWAR. If the season ended today, those numbers would be his best since his 2019 NL MVP campaign (161 wRC and 7.8 fWAR).

Bellinger is a Scott Boras client, so you know he’s going to try and drive the price up as much as possible. How high could it get? And who will be vying for his services? Here’s what Bob said:

The price-tag will be heavy, exceeding $200 million, perhaps even seeking more than $300 million. 

The most aggressive suitors are expected to be: The Cubs, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and New York Yankees. 

Of course, we have to take this with a grain of salt. What Nightengale says the “expectation” is supposed to be may not actually be reality. But whether we take this at face value or not, it’s something to think about. Especially after New York had been connected to Bellinger quite constantly earlier this year.

Would the Yankees drop that much money after such a disappointing year? Some money is coming off the books — like Josh Donaldson’s salary — so there could be some wiggle room. Plus, it’s not like Cody Bellinger is super old. He’ll be entering his age-28 season in 2024.

It’ll be interesting to see what the Bombers do. They’ve been in need of another outfielder since last winter. Bellinger’s defensive versatility could provide some help at first base behind Anthony Rizzo, as well. Either way, what happens over the regular season’s final month will be important for the club’s future. How things unfold will undoubtedly have a direct impact on how New York approaches the offseason.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.