As the Chicago Cubs' winning streak grows, their chances of becoming sellers at the trade deadline shrink. Winners of eight straight games, Chicago is gaining ground in the National League playoff race. Cody Bellinger, once seen as one of the best players available at the 2023 MLB trade deadline, is going nowhere.

The Cubs have decided that they will not trade Bellinger, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN. Several teams were ready for Chicken to become a seller but they instead will focus on making the postseason, retaining their center fielder and middle-of-the-order slugger.

Bellinger, in his first season with the Cubs after signing a one-year deal this past offseason, has been great despite missing almost 30 games between May and June. In 73 games, he has a .908 OPS, 46 RBI, 15 home runs and 12 stolen bases. His strikeout percentage has been clipped close to the level it was when he won MVP and his home-run percentage has improved. His defensive metrics grade out very well, too.

Cubs manager David Ross voiced a firm anti-sell stance and has seen his team go two games over .500 for the first time since the very beginning of May. They haven’t made the playoffs in a full season since 2018 and are now in the thick of the race for the Wild Card with teams like the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and the division-rival Cincinnati Reds.

Cody Bellinger could have gotten the Cubs a good trade package in return had they decided to reload and shoot for the playoffs in 2024. Instead, they are depriving teams (including the Phillies and Diamondbacks) of a potential deadline addition that could boost their lineup. They have ground to make up in the playoff race but keeping Bellinger, who is working on a four-game on-base streak, gets them closer to their goal.

Star pitcher Marcus Stroman is expected to be unavailable at the trade deadline, too, though a dispute for his contract extension has made him question his commitment to the franchise. The Cubs are shaping up to be buyers this time around, with positions like pitching and first base in need of upgrades.