Cleveland Guardians add much-needed power by signing first baseman Josh Bell to two-year deal




The Cleveland Guardians have answered one of the few questions marks surrounding their 2023 opening day roster.

The defending American League Central Division champions have come to an agreement on a two-year, $33 million deal with first baseman Josh Bell, according to reports from ESPN and the New York Post. The deal includes an opt-out.

Bell, a 30-year-old switch hitter, is a natural fit for the Guardians lineup and represents a significant upgrade to their designated hitter spot. Last season, Bell hit .266 with a .362 on-base percentage along with 17 home runs, 29 doubles and 71 RBIs in 156 games between the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres. He posted a 123 wRC+ in 2022 and a 119 wRC+ in 2021, and 2.0 fWAR during both seasons.

SPORTS NEWSLETTER: Sign up to get the latest news and stories delivered directly to your inbox

The Guardians, meanwhile, received a 68 wRC+ from designated hitters last year (meaning Cleveland DHs were 32 percent below league average, while Bell was 23 percent above league average), which ranked dead last in the majors, along with -1.3 fWAR. In that sense, Bell is a major upgrade that the Guardians can use to stabilize their DH spot, along with him being able to play first base in addition to Josh Naylor.

In the playoffs, the Guardians turned to either Will Brennan or Owen Miller for their DH spot, which left much to be desired, until Naylor's ankle injury forced them to shuffle the lineup. Bell's signing adds a switch-hitter to the order who gets on base at a high rate and can hit for a bit of power, making him a natural fit.

Follow him Ryan Lewis on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Cleveland Guardians sign Josh Bell to two-year deal

COMMENTS

More Related News

Alex Cora bragged about 2017 Astros sign-stealing scandal, says new book
Alex Cora bragged about 2017 Astros sign-stealing scandal, says new book

A new book titled "Winning Fixes Everything" about the Astros' sign-stealing scandal and controversial 2017 World Series win does not paint current Red Sox manager Alex Cora in a good light.

MLB Insider Jon Heyman grades White Sox offseason with a D-minus
MLB Insider Jon Heyman grades White Sox offseason with a D-minus

Jon Heyman joined Mully & Haugh on 670 the Score to give his two cents about the White Sox roller coaster offseason.

Giants
Giants' Mike Yastrzemski knows batting average must improve after awful 2023

Mike Yastrzemski believes he needs to improve his batting average as the Giants look to bounce back in the NL West this season.

Michael Jordan Day? Please. These are the greatest No. 23s in Detroit sports history
Michael Jordan Day? Please. These are the greatest No. 23s in Detroit sports history

While ESPN fetes Michael Jordan today, here are the top No. 23s in Detroit, in case you feel like celebrating a more "313"-centric version of 2/3/23.

Mets
Mets' farm system ranked in middle of MLB pack by The Athletic ahead of 2023 season

The Mets' farm system is on the upswing and has five of the best prospects in baseball, but they're still not quite in the upper echelon when it comes to the top systems in MLB.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Baseball