With our previous coverage of trade targets for starting pitching and relief pitching, this is the last of our three-part series for the Toronto Blue Jays’ trade deadline wish list in which we will be looking at outfield trade targets. In particular, these potential targets could also play in the DH spot, along with being a power bat for spot starts and coming off the bench for situational flexibility for the Blue Jays in the stretch run.
Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs
As one of the rumoured targets for the Blue Jays to sign in free agency during the past offseason, Cody Bellinger ultimately joined the Chicago Cubs on a one-year, $17.5 million “show-me” deal as he was banking on building up his stock this season in search of a more bigger, longer term deal in free agency this coming year.
For the season thus far in 2023, he has hit .298, with an .846 OPS, along with 44 runs scored, 13 doubles, nine home runs, 29 RBI, and 11 stolen bases over 58 games played. Although they are not eye-popping numbers, overall, those have been quite solid numbers for Bellinger, especially in comparison to his previous three seasons in which he has struggled mightily ever since his MVP season back in 2019. Worth noting is that his current batting average is hovering around .300, which is indeed a great sign, after hitting below .240 for much of the previous three seasons, showing that his hitting mechanics and approach at the plate has definitely improved as a result.
For someone who had close to 40 home runs in his rookie season, along with 47 more in his MVP year, the potential bulk power is definitely there. Even though he may not reach those heights again, Bellinger should still be good for 20-plus home runs and 75-plus RBI on average nowadays and is worth a shot if the Jays want to bring in his power bat to balance out their lineup. In addition, Bellinger plays center field, so he can spell Kevin Kiermaier on his off days and can serve as insurance for the team’s other outfielders.