There was a time a few years back that Josh Bell was seen as one of the top hitting first baseman in baseball. As a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 2019, he hit .266 with 36 homers and 116 RBI while boasting a .936 OPS.
On the lookout for more help in their lineup, the Cleveland Guardians hope that Bell reverts back to that form.
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According to multiple media reports, Cleveland has signed Bell to a two-year, $33 million contract that includes an opt-out before the 2024 season.
This move comes after Cleveland missed out on signing former AL MVP José Abreu after he inked a deal with the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros.
- Josh Bell stats (2022): .266 average, 17 HR, 71 RBI, .784 OPS
Bell, 30, was dealt from the Washington Nationals to the San Diego Padres in the blockbuster Juan Soto trade this past summer. After hitting .301 in the nation’s capital, he struggled to the tune of a .192 average with a .587 OPS in 177 at-bats with San Diego.
Coming off a surprise American League Central crown, Cleveland hopes Bell can provide a big upgrade for the team at first or as their designated hitter. Josh Naylor played first last season, hitting .256 with 20 homers and 76 RBI. He fits into the equation as well.