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Free-agent Cody Bellinger and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to terms on a contract that will pay the former National League MVP $80 million over three years, ESPN reported late Saturday night

Bellinger, represented by agent Scott Boras, waited out free agency until after spring training began, likely aiming to sign an nine-figure deal. However, Bellinger ended up getting $80 million guaranteed. He can reenter free agency after the 2024 and 2025 seasons as his contract has opt-out options after Years 1 and 2, per ESPN. Bellinger is reportedly set to be paid $30 million in 2024 and 2025 and $20 million in 2026 with this contract.

Bellinger, 28, rebuilt his stock in 2023 after multiple down seasons with the Dodgers thanks to a strong campaign with the Cubs. In 130 games as Chicago's primary center fielder, he hit 26 home runs, stole 20 bases, and won a Silver Slugger. Coming into the offseason, we at CBS Sports ranked him as the No.3 available free agent in this class. Here's part of our write-up: 

There are three parts to a magic trick. First, showing something to the audience. Then, making that something disappear. Finally, making that something reappear. A lot of magicians use rabbits, coins, or planted volunteers. The baseball-minded among them, such as Bellinger, use their offensive output. He began his career in brilliant fashion, culminating in winning the 2019 National League Most Valuable Player Award. That production then vanished, to the extent that he was non-tendered last winter by the Dodgers. Bellinger has pulled off the final leg of the trick in 2023, reestablishing himself as a well-above-average hitter, albeit in inexplicable fashion. His ball-tracking data does not align with what you would expect from someone who once threatened 50 home runs: his average exit velocity puts him in company with Jean SeguraYan Gomes, and Miguel Rojas. The secret to Bellinger's reemergence seems to be that he traded quality of contact for quantity of contact. It worked this season. Teams must now decide how confident they are in Bellinger's new trick, or if the sustainability of his resurgence is a matter of magical thinking.

While Shohei Ohtani was far and away the top bat available this offseason, Bellinger was next among hitters in what was a thin free-agent class on the offensive side of things. 

With Bellinger returning to the Cubs, third baseman Matt Chapman and left-handed starters Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery are the leading unsigned MLB free agents.