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Guardians add pop, sign slugger Josh Bell to 2-year contract

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 01: Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates rounds second after hitting a two run home run in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on July 1, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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CLEVELAND - The Guardians added some major pop to their pesky lineup.

Cleveland officially signed slugger Josh Bell to a two-year, $33 million contract on Monday after agreeing to the deal last week during the winter meetings in San Diego.

The AL Central champions were in the market for a big bat after hitting just 127 homers (second fewest in the league) last season and believe they’ve added one with the switch-hitting Bell.

The 30-year-old hit 37 homers in 2019 for Pittsburgh and has 130 over seven season in the majors.

He’ll likely platoon at first base with Josh Naylor and be used as a designated hitter. This will be Bell’s first time in the AL after playing with the Pirates, San Diego and Washington.

Embracing a patience-over-power approach at the plate, the Guardians were one of baseball’s biggest surprises last season. They pulled away in September to finish 92-70 and win their division by 11 games.

Cleveland beat Tampa Bay in the wild-card round before losing to the New York Yankees in the Division Series, when the Guardians were outhomered 9-3.

Bell split last season between the Nationals and Padres, posting career-highs in hits (147) and walks (81). For the season, he batted .266 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 156 games.