Almost a month to the day MLBbro.com did a feature on the future of Josh Bell (who some believed was playing well enough to participate in this year’s All-Star game) on the potential trade rumors surrounding him. Even though the Washington Nationals were very pleased with our MLBbro’s production this season, it was clear that signing Juan Soto to a long term extension was their first priority. Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo made that clear during spring training.
“Josh Bell is a guy that we really like, we made a trade for,” Rizzo said. “We’re concentrating on seeing if we can get something done with Juan Soto first. Like I said before, he’s our No.1 priority and we’re going to attack that one before we move on to anybody else.”
What a difference 30 days make. The Nationals “attacked” and “concentrated” on their No.1 priority to the tune of a 15-year $440 million extension offer which was considerably higher than the 13-year, $350 million offer before the lockout. Soto declined the offer and the trade rumors took off, attaching him to possible teams with the financial resources to afford arguably the most decorated slugger of this era going forward. It didn’t take long for theories of Juan Soto being a pawn in the contract negotiations between the New York Yankees and Aaron Judge…
Trading for Juan Soto wouldn't stop the Yankees from extending Aaron Judge pic.twitter.com/bY8mja2oSh
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 27, 2022
For the record, NO ONE on the MLBbro.com staff believes that Judge will don no other uniform other than the Yankees pinstripes due to the fact that he is hitting homers like he has personal
stock in Major League pitching.
If there was a conspiracy theory that the Yankees were trying to use Soto as a bargaining piece, our top MLBBro sent out yet another reminder of who he is and what he accomplishes on a consistent basis.
— MLB (@MLB) July 29, 2022
His four homers against the Kansas City Royals this week sent his home run total to 42 in only 101 games which is the third highest total since 2000 behind Barry Bonds 42 and Luis Gonzalez’s 41, both in 2001.
But with Juan Soto almost certainly to be traded at some point and even though the Yankees are interested, they will never let Judge walk because of a low bridge offer. So, where does that leave Josh Bell?
With Soto’s potential departure, Bell’s stock may have risen considerably since Washington gave him a one year, $10 million deal last offseason just to avoid arbitration. Unlike Juan Soto, our MLBbro is a free agent after this season and his production this season has made sure that he will have numerous suitors up until the trade deadline on Aug. 2nd. MLBbro.com listed the
Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Diego Padres and Minnesota Twins were potential suitors last month. Now it seems that the Houston Astros are in the mix making a strong effort to land Bell according to MLB on Fox.
The Astros are being "fairly aggressive" with the trade deadline approaching, according to @Ken_Rosenthal.
Josh Bell & a catcher/center fielder are currently on their radar: pic.twitter.com/eaPZpsYSEy
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 28, 2022
Whether it be the Astros or the Milwaukee Brewers (another team in the hunt) that lands Bell, they will be getting instant production to build a postseason roster. Our MLBbro currently has a .302 batting average with an impressive .877 OPS and 13 home runs in only 99 games.
It seems that Josh Bell understands the business surrounding him and his talk weeks ago with The Athletic’s David Aldridge shows that he enjoys the organization and the DC area.
“It’s one of those things where it’s kind of out of my hands,” Bell said. “We’ll definitely see what happens. But I think the organization knows how pleased I am being here, with the city and all that, and with the community as a whole. I think this organization does pretty much everything. So I’m definitely happy to throw on the Nationals jersey.”
Very classy words to describe a team with the worst record in the major leagues. But if Bell is traded, it’s almost certain that he will be moved to a winning situation and playing games that matter, which is something that he is definitely ready for.
“I feel like it’s one of the things that you strive to be in as a kid,” Bell told reporters. “It’s a scenario where the game’s on the line, you want the bat in your hands, you want the opportunity to win it. So that’s what makes this game fun.”
What’s going to be fun for baseball fans is this upcoming weekend with the trade deadline fast approaching on Tuesday.