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The Washington Nationals next trade won’t have anything to do with Juan Soto. Nats slugger Josh Bell could be the next player to go.
Soto is the name to watch at the trade deadline, and for good reason.
Yet, the 23-year-old would cost an arm and a leg to acquire, while Washington has a few other players perhaps more likely to be traded at a discount rate.
Josh Bell is among those players. The 29-year-old is hitting .308/.388/.496 with 13 home runs. He could be a centerpiece in the right lineup.
While Bell is no Soto, he’s not a bad consolation prize, and could help land Washington some prospect capital in return as the take on a rebuild.
Josh Bell rumors: Where could Nationals slugger land?
The Houston Astros make a lot of sense for Bell, and have been mentioned as a potential destination previously. While the Mets are also interested, Houston has a hole at first base.
Yordan Alvarez is the primary designated hitter for a reason. Houston would play Bell at first base, and despite a reputation as a poor defender in the field, he’s actually quite improved in that department as MLB Trade Rumors outlined:
“Bell once graded as a poor defender at first base but has improved his ratings in recent years. Public metrics like Defensive Runs Saved (+3) and Outs Above Average (+1) feel he’s been a solid option at the position this season — a far cry from early in his career when he was turning in full-season marks of -7 and -8.”
Another sleeper destination for Bell could be the Milwaukee Brewers, which are looking at offensive upgrades near the trade deadline to aid their NL Central title defense. Bell would primarily play DH in Milwaukee, especially with Rowdy Tellez manning first base on a regular basis.
Of course, adding the Brewers to the mix is pure speculation on my end.