Josh Bell

Josh Bell, welcome to Cleveland.

The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported Tuesday the Cleveland Guardians have signed the slugging first baseman to a two-year, $33 million deal that includes an opt-out after the 2023 season.

The question now is, which Bell will the Guardians get? The 30-year-old slugger is three years removed from his 2019 All-Star campaign when he crushed 37 home runs with a .936 OPS for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He ran hot and cold last year, slashing .301/.384/.493 for the Washington Nationals in 103 games before being traded to the San Diego Padres, where he looked lost (.192/.316/.271 slash line in 53 games).

Beyond his big bat in the middle of the lineup, Bell is also widely regarded as a good teammate.

“What he brings to our team, you can’t put value to that,” Nationals manager Davey Martinez said last season (via NBC Sports). “He’s unbelievable. Just his daily presence, the positivity he brings, the way he goes about his business, the stuff he does off the field, all that stuff.?

The MLB world generally thought the Guardians got a great deal with Bell.

“Josh Bell is a great fit for the Guardians. They needed a thumper in the middle of their order, and yes, a switch-hitter, a Cleveland lineup tradition,” noted ESPN’s Buster Olney.

“I don’t even like Bell very much, but that is a steal in this market,” noted Ely Sussman.

“Definitely the move the Guardians needed to make. Some extra value here, too, in that if he’s good enough to opt out, he’ll probably bring back a pick after getting a qualifying offer,” tweeted Matthew Pouliot.

[Jon Heyman, New York Post]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.