Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs
Cody Bellinger might've found something in Chicago that helped his swing return to form, but ... then he busted his knee up making a leaping catch against the wall in Houston in May. Nothing was torn, except perhaps the Yankees front office when asked whether or not they should take a chance on him.
Before the injury, Bellinger posted a .271 average with seven homers, nine steals, 20 RBI, and a 124 OPS+, worth 1.5 bWAR. He was everything the Cubs hoped he'd be and everything the Dodgers feared he might become. If Chicago continues to spiral in a mucked-up National League, they might do well to trade him while the iron's hot.
But ... for the Yankees ... there's so much troublesome stuff here. That salary ($17.5 million for 2023). The injury history (Bellinger's shoulder popped out in the 2020 postseason and may have thrown something semi-permanently off course in his swing). The strikeout numbers, which made him the biggest liability on the big-money Dodgers two years running.
There's a chance Bellinger sustains this level of production when he returns. There's a chance he ends up an intriguing option for the Yankees on a multi-year deal next winter. That's how this usually goes, right? The Yankees commit multiple years to someone who reverts back to their trouble spots as soon as they sign the contract? Huh. Maybe the Yankees should trade for him, hope for the best in 2023, then let someone else re-sign him. Or they can just avoid the whiff worries entirely. The lack of certainty here probably isn't worth pursuing.