MLB Trade Rumors: Josh Bell is going to the Washington Nationals from the Pittsburgh Pirates, per reports. Jeff Passan says the Pirates are getting back pitchers Eddy Yean and Wil Crowe.
The initial reaction is going to be that this is a surprisingly light package for Bell — Yean is a 19 year old who is 8th on the Baseball America Nationals list, and who has 90 pro innings, none in full season ball, while Crowe is a 26 year old righthanded starter who is 10th in the BA list and was knocked around in three starts in 2020, his first taste of major league action.
That said, Bell is a bat-only guy best suited for DH, and while he had what seemed like a breakout year in 2019, slashing .277/.367/.569, that only resulted in a 2.7 bWAR, and is his only season where he has posted an OPS over 800. Bell followed 2019 up with a very disappointing 669 OPS in 2020.
The switch hitter out of Dallas Jesuit still has two years of team control remaining, and the Nats are no doubt hoping that Bell can return to his 2019 form. Even if he doesn’t, the price to find out is pretty low for Washington.