However unlikely something may seem, don't ever count out Dave Dombrowski. The Philadelphia Phillies President of Baseball Operations is known to pull off blockbuster trades and make surprising acquisitions when most observers thought it was impossible. Might it happen again before the 2024 season begins?
The Phillies were dealt a blow over the weekend when it was revealed that outfielder Brandon Marsh underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. The procedure isn't expected to sideline Marsh for long, and reports suggest that he could even be back in time for Opening Day. But that could be the opening that Dombrowski needed in order to sign one of the top free agents remaining.
One of the Cincinnati Reds biggest division rivals, the Chicago Cubs, have been tied to Bellinger all offseason. Many experts see the two sides eventually coming to an agreement. But Marsh's injury is the perfect excuse for the Phillies to swoop in and pick the Cubs' pocket.
Brandon Marsh injury could allow Phillies to swipe Cody Bellinger from Reds' rival
If Bellinger and the Cubs were predestined to reunite this offseason, why has it taken so long? Of course, Bellingers's agent always like to milk the organization for as much as he can. But with four of his clients (Bellinger, Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, and Matt Chapman) still unsigned at this point of the offseason, one has to wonder what Scott Boras is up to.
If the Cubs fail to secure Bellinger for the 2024 season, they can kiss any aspirations of winning the NL Central goodbye. Even with Bellinger, it's questionable as to whether or not Chicago has the roster to compete with the Reds and St. Louis Cardinals.
The Reds have added Jeimer Candelario, Nick Martinez, and Frankie Montas to a young, up-and-coming group of talented players. The Cardinals bolstered their starting rotation with the additions of Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson, and have perennial MVP candidates in Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado.
The Cubs added Shōta Imanaga, but also lost Marcus Stroman. If it's assumed those two cancel each other out, Chicago's biggest addition is probably Michael Busch whom they received in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. That's not going to move the needle.
At the moment, it would seem as though Brandon Marsh's injury isn't serious, and the Phillies may prefer to stand pat. But if any team like Philadelphia, who has World Series aspirations in 2024, loses one of their top bats during spring training, Cody Bellinger might be a quick solution.
The longer Bellinger stays on the open market, the less likely it is that he'll return to the NL Central. Rumors have been floating around recently that the Toronto Blue Jays could be a potential suitor. Cubs fans are getting nervous, and the Reds fans are loving every minute of it.