BUCS JETTISON JOSH BELL TO D.C.
The Washington Nationals acquired first baseman Josh Bell from the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitchers Eddy Yean and Wil Crowe.
What does it give the Washington Nationals
The Nationals lost Howie Kendrick to retirement, while Asdrubal Cabrera, Eric Thames and Ryan Zimmerman are all currently free agents. Therefore, a first baseman was needed. Enter Bell, who is a switch-hitter with parts of five seasons in MLB. He is a career .261 hitter but his home-run power has been inconsistent in the bigs. He is still only 28 years old, so there is time for Bell to get back to his 2019 form (his career campaign).
What does it give the Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates decided to move on from Bell partly because he is coming off a very down year in 2020 (.226 BA, 8 HR, 22 RBI in 195 AB). Also, Colin Moran can play first base and there is not likely to be a full-time DH in the National League in 2021, so Bell was deemed expendable. Yean could be the key to this trade from a Bucs perspective, although he is several years away from competing for a roster spot. He has yet to turn 18. As for Crowe, he is an older pitching prospect who might help Pittsburgh in 2021.
Expect Bell's numbers to spike back up with the Nationals, though he may never match his '19 totals again. Still, he is worth drafting in the middle rounds this year. Yean should be a consideration in deep keeper drafts, while Crowe is merely an in-season option if he becomes a regular in the Pittsburgh rotation.