Tom Ricketts Says ‘Not Much We Can Do’ in Cody Bellinger Situation

Nothing particularly new here, so we’ll keep it short. As has been reported on this site and across numerous other outlets over the past several weeks, negotiations between the Cubs and Cody Bellinger are non-existent. That goes for other teams as well because Scott Boras has yet to receive a formal offer for his top free agent and may not have gotten any figures at all. And it’s not just Bellinger, as several other Boras clients are still awaiting deals as the first full-squad workouts get underway across the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.

That doesn’t mean teams haven’t checked in at all, since a total lack of communication would mean neither side knows where the other stands. It’s just that the gap is simply so wide that everyone involved knows it’s not worth trying to build a bridge yet. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts acknowledged as much when he spoke with the media at Sloan Park Monday morning.

“There has been some discussions, but just it hasn’t become a negotiation yet, so until they’re ready to really negotiate, then there’s not much we can do,” Ricketts explained. “And I don’t tell Jed what to do, but I also imagine you just have to wait for when it gets serious before you start talking about what the end money amounts are. So we’ll just see where it goes.”

Indeed we will. This whole thing is just a game of chicken in which both competitors are taking great pains to psych the other out despite that aforementioned distance. And unless time creates the urgency that has thus far been lacking, or maybe if Jed Hoyer gets his shoelace stuck, every indication is that all those involved are willing to stand their ground indefinitely.

From the sounds of it, Hoyer won’t be pressured into making a move.

“I don’t talk to Scott,” Ricketts continued. “One of his signature moves is to go talk to the owner. When you do that, you undermine the credibility of your GM. Inserting yourself into that negotiation, I don’t think that helps. I don’t talk to him.”

The Cubs offer the best fit and they’re also the only team that can sign Bellinger without incurring qualifying offer penalties, giving them the advantage when it comes to structuring a creative deal. As hard as it is to imagine any team getting close to $200 million, it’s equally difficult to think of an organization that would be willing to forfeit a draft pick and international pool money for a prove-it deal that might only last one season.

Thus the waiting game continues.

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