Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell is one of the best hitters available on the trade market this summer. As the Nationals prepare to tear down part of the roster, they should have plenty of suitors interested in Bell.
After a productive 2021 season at the plate in Washington, Bell is taking things to another level this year. The switch-hitter is both displaying his usual power and he’s now hitting for a career-high batting average, emerging as one of the best first basemen in MLB.
Josh Bell stats (2022): .315/.398/.508, .906 OPS, 12 HR, 47 RBI, 161 OPS+
It comes at a time when the Nationals are showing zero signs of being competitive in the near future. Stuck with a lineup that is often futile outside of Juan Soto, Washington seems poised to ship off Bell before the Aug. 2 trade deadline.
While first base isn’t the most coveted position among MLB contenders, let’s take a look at three potential Josh Bell trade landing spots and gauge what the Nationals could receive back in a deal.
Josh Bell traded to Houston Astros
Contracts obviously play a huge part in trade negotiations. Bell is in the last year of his deal and while the remaining portion of his $10 million salary is easy for the Houston Astros to absorb, they also won’t part with a top prospect for two months of Bell.
However, he would fill a huge void in the Astros’ lineup. After years of quality production, Yuli Gurriel (.227/.282/.390) looks finished in his age-38 season. Entering July 6, Astros’ first basemen ranked 28th in wRC+ (80), 29th in wOBA (.275) and OPS (.629).
Washington Nationals trade: Josh Bell
Houston Astros trade: Alex Santos, Shay Whitcomb, Tyler Ivey