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