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The Daily Belli watch: 17 days to the Cubs Spring Training opener

We have all been here before.

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Today’s song selection:

Or perhaps you’d like your déjà vu this way:

The rest of this article is going to look very familiar. Déjà vu, if you like. This is a repeat from last Wednesday, because as of this morning, 15 of MLB Trade Rumors’ Top 50 Free Agents remain unsigned, just as they were last week. Here’s my best guess as to who each of them will sign with, and a bit of my reasoning behind each.

Cody Bellinger: Cubs

Because reasons.

Seriously, though, the team and the player are just about a perfect fit. The Cubs know it. Bellinger knows it. Everyone knows it. It’s just a matter of waiting out the staring contest between Jed Hoyer and Scott Boras.

Blake Snell: Phillies

The Phillies have not hesitated to spend what they themselves call “stupid money,” and... well, Snell has had exactly two really good years. The rest have been mediocre-to-bad.

Jordan Montgomery: Rangers

Like Bellinger and the Cubs, this one makes perfect sense for both sides.

Matt Chapman: Giants

After the Giants finish second in the Cody Bellinger Derby, this would be a reasonable consolation prize.

Jorge Soler: Pirates

The Pirates did this with Soler’s 2016 Cubs teammate Aroldis Chapman. Why not get some decent games out of Soler as a DH, then flip him mid-season?

J.D. Martinez: Red Sox

He’s popular there and they need a DH with Justin Turner gone. Of course, Boston has shown no indication they want to spend this winter.

Mike Clevinger: Angels

Clevinger’s 2023 season was just okay, as was his 2022 season. He’s 33 and has had off-field issues. Why would any team pay big money for that?

Oh, right, Angels. He and Anthony Rendon will probably become great friends.

Michael Lorenzen: Tigers

Detroit got a decent four months out of him and a good return in trade. Why not try it again?

Gio Urshela: Blue Jays

The consolation prize for losing Matt Chapman.

Amed Rosario: Athletics

He wouldn’t cost much.

Whit Merrifield: Nationals

They’ve been pretty quiet this offseason. Merrifield could play multiple positions and provide veteran leadership for a very young team.

Brandon Belt: Pirates

Another guy the Buccos could flip at the deadline.

Jakob Junis: Padres

The Padres need a closer. Junis has never done it before, but why not? He throws hard, strikes out a lot of guys and doesn’t walk many.

Liam Hendriks: No one

Hendriks is recovering from Tommy John surgery and likely won’t pitch this year. Unless someone wants to give him a small contract for 2024 with an option for 2025, he might remain unsigned until next offseason.

Tim Anderson: Athletics

Anderson had the worst year of his career in 2023, had a memorable fight in Cleveland:

... and isn’t seen as a great clubhouse guy. The A’s would be a good purgatory for him.


New week, new poll! When will the Cubs sign Cody Bellinger?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    (20 votes)
  • 11%
    Later this week
    (80 votes)
  • 37%
    By the end of February
    (260 votes)
  • 11%
    (78 votes)
  • 36%
    They won’t — he’ll sign with a different team
    (253 votes)
691 votes total Vote Now