Putting Together a Trade Package for Josh Bell

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 13: Josh Bell #19 of the Washington Nationals looks on against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning of game one of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on July 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 13: Josh Bell #19 of the Washington Nationals looks on against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning of game one of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on July 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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The Houston Astros are in on the trade talks involving Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell, according to Andy Martino.  The Astros’ current first baseman and fan favorite Yuli Gurriel hasn’t been himself this year and is a far cry from his 2019 power surge of 31 home runs, 104 RBI, and .298 average.

Gurriel currently ranks last out of qualifying first basemen in OPS and OBP, second to last in slugging, 23rd in RBI, tied for 19th in home runs, and 14th in average. Josh Bell, on the other hand, is quite the opposite, as he ranks 4th in average, 11th in home runs, 8th in RBI, 4th in OBP, 5th in slugging, and 4th in OPS.  Needless to say, this would be a huge upgrade for the Astros, but what could a possible deal look like for Houston?

Josh Bell is the trade target of many teams looking to add a bat, namely the Yankees and Mets, among others. Bell’s bat is on fire this season as he is slashing .311/.390/.504 with an .895 OPS, and for comparison’s sake, Bell’s batting average is higher than Gurriel’s OBP and Bell’s OBP is higher than Gurriel’s slugging percentage. Gurriel would almost surely remain with the Astros, coming off the bench and getting the occasional start if the regular DH or first baseman gets the day off.

To trade for Josh Bell, the Astros will have to give up some prospects as the Nationals are in rebuilding mode. I could see a package of pitching prospect Peter Solomon, outfielder Jose Siri, pitcher Jose Urquidy, and pitcher Enoli Paredes being an appealing one for Nationals brass. I would imagine the Astros give up that much since Urquidy would likely be the odd man out in a six-man rotation. In fact, they’ll have 7 starters once Lance McCullers completes his rehab starts.

That trade would give the Nationals some up-and-coming pitchers as well as a depth center fielder and a workhorse for their rotation. I would personally miss Urquidy, but the Astros could also loop in re-signing Bell as a part of the trade to make it more worthwhile, as they still have a surplus of money from Carlos Correa signing elsewhere. I would love to see them make a deal and really make a run at winning it all this year. The question remains, are the Astros the one for whom the Bell tolls?

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