SHOCKING:How Rhys Hoskins’ Strike-Out Could Influence the Cubs’ Strategy for Re-Signing Cody Bellinger


Plenty of the most optimistic Chicago Cubs storylines this off season did not come to bear. The Cubs did not land Shohei Ohtani, nor the incoming Yoshinobu Yamamoto. They didn’t get Rhys Hoskins, and they saw Jeimer Candelario walk to the Cubs instead of re-signing after trading for him last season.

One of the fringe moves some had the Cubs projected to pursue was longtime Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins. Hoskins wound up signing with the Milwaukee Brewers just this past week, going to a Cubs rival instead of landing with the North Siders.

While that may come off as a devastating blow, it opens the door for one of the more important projected offseason moves: Cody Bellinger possibly to sign back with the Cubs. It will just take a little bit of creative thinking on Chicago’s end of things.

Cody Bellinger’s natural position is center field, and one thing that has been reported to give the Cubs some pause about re-signing Bellinger has to do more with defensive positioning and not salary.

The Cubs are high on prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong, who made his big league debut last year. Bellinger being on Chicago’s books the next several years may make it difficult for PCA to break into the roster.

That’s a curious stance from the team considering there’s a fairly obvious solution that would work out perfectly for both PCA and Bellinger.

But Bellinger has other places the Cubs can place him. Designated hitter is somewhere to place Bellinger, but some managers prefer to keep that spot fluid for rotating off days. First base, with Hoskins out, is somewhere the Cubs could look to move Bellinger full-time.

Just last year, after a few years of minimal first base with the Dodgers, Bellinger played over 400 innings at the corner where he played over 700 innings in 2017 and 2018. First base could give Bellinger a lengthier defensive career since it would take strain off his throwing arm.

Bellinger has shown some preference to moving back to first base in the later stages of his career, admitting it would be a good cool-down as he ages.

Here’s what he said in 2022:

“When I’m older and not as agile and fast, I can move over to first base again. And hopefully it’s like riding a bike you know? But that was my main position in the minor leagues and high school, so it’s always there in the future.”

The Cubs need a first baseman, and they need an outfielder. Sounds like they could have both if they finally put pen to paper with Bellinger.

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