Noah Syndergaard has put on 17 pounds of muscle

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This is not a Best Shape of His Life story, really, but the fact that Noah Syndergaard has put on 17 pounds of muscle this offseason comes in the course of this excellent profile of him at Sports Illustrated. He has worked out all offseason, adding that muscle and reducing his body fat. The guy is already a beast. If he puts on mid-career Roger Clemens-style bulk, he might be downright scary.

The rest of the story is good reading, chronicling the transformation of a large, awkward-looking high schooler into one of the most talented young pitchers baseball has seen for a while. We’ve all seen that unfortunate high school picture of Syndergaard. Now we know him as a triple-digit throwing ace with long flowing locks. Locks that require a $32 shampoo called “Cavier.” Hey, if you had his hair and his money you’d probably buy that too.

Cody Bellinger, Cubs reportedly agree to $17.5M, 1-year deal

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Former National League MVP Cody Bellinger and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a $17.5 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the agreement was subject to a successful physical.

Bellinger, the 2019 NL MVP, was cut by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Nov. 18 after the 27-year-old outfielder hit .210 with 19 homers, 150 strikeouts and a .654 OPS in 144 games.

He had a $17 million contract this season and likely would have received a slight raise in arbitration.

Bellinger was limited to 95 games during the 2021 regular season when he was on the injured list three times and batted .165. He hit .353 in 12 games in that postseason and had the go-ahead RBI single in Game 5 of the NL Division Series against the rival San Francisco Giants. Bellinger also had a tying, three-run homer against Atlanta in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series.

In 2020, Bellinger hit .239 with 12 home runs in 56 games during the pandemic-shortened season. He homered three times in the NLCS, and the Dodgers beat the Braves to reach the World Series. They went on to defeat Tampa Bay in six games to win the franchise’s first title since 1988.

Bellinger has battled injuries since his MVP season, including having surgery on his right shoulder in November 2020.

Before his precipitous drop-off, Bellinger was the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year and 2018 NLCS MVP. He made two All-Star teams, and won a Gold Glove in 2019.