Guardians Among Teams Targeting All-Star First Baseman in Free Agency

Tyler Maher
The Cleveland Guardians have been linked to an All-Star first baseman in free agency.
The Cleveland Guardians have been linked to an All-Star first baseman in free agency. / ASSOCIATED PRESS
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The Cleveland Guardians may have missed out on Jose Abreu, but that doesn't mean they're out of the running for a big bat. The Guardians are still seeking help at first base and are considering a different free-agent star at the position, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman.

Cleveland Guardians Free Agency Rumors

According to Heyman, Josh Bell is among Cleveland's current targets at first base. While not as accomplished as Abreu, Bell is a good deal younger at age 30 and can also switch hit, making him a strong fallback plan.

Bell was voted as the National League's best hitter at first base in 2022 with his first Silver Slugger award after batting .266/.362/.422 with 17 home runs and 71 RBIs for the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres. Bell's best offensive season was in 2019, however, when he made the All-Star team and finished with career highs in home runs (37), RBIs (116) and numerous other categories.

In addition to addressing an obvious need at first base for Cleveland, Bell would also give the Guardians another legitimate slugger to pair with Jose Ramirez in the middle of the order. Cleveland is in desperate need of power after finishing 29th in home runs last year.

Heyman reports that the Guardians are also seeking a catcher. That's hardly a surprise after Cleveland's backstops batted a combined .180/.267/.267 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs last season.

If the Guardians can add a big bat and shore up their catcher spot, they'll be in a much better position to repeat as AL Central champions in 2023. Cleveland is currently tied for the 15th-best World Series odds next season on FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds.

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