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‘I was craving baseball:' Cody Bellinger describes prolonged contract talks

‘I was craving baseball:' Cody Bellinger describes prolonged contract talks originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger’s contract saga lasted into the start of spring training, but he said that there were things that never wavered, including his desire to come back to the team.

Bellinger said his love for baseball never diminished during the negotiations, and that it helped to sustain him as time went on.

“I was craving baseball. I was fiending for it,” he said. “Doing what I could in the offseason, enjoying all my family time, doing everything I could physically and mentally to stay ready for when the time came. It feels really good.”

Bellinger, who agreed to a three-year pact with the Cubs, will slot in as the club’s starting center fielder, and after a successful 2023 campaign he says he never tried to hide the fact that he wanted to return.

“I didn’t hide the fact internally that I did want to come back here,” he said. “I just love Wrigley Field. I love the fans. Me and my family enjoy Chicago.”

After three straight subpar seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bellinger found his form in a big way with the Cubs in 2023. He hammered 26 home runs, the most he’s had in a season since he won National League MVP honors in 2019, and drove in 97 RBI’s in 499 at-bats. He also stole 20 bases and slashed .307/.356/.525 on the year.

Bellinger said that the protracted contract process wasn’t the most fun experience he’s ever had, but he trusted agent Scott Boras to get the job done.

“I trusted the process. I was in constant communication with Scott in understanding what was going on,” he said.

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