Impact of Trading Josh Bell | Moving Forward

August 2, 2023

Andy Billman

Josh Bell to the Miami Marlins for prospect 2B/SS Kahlil Watson

3 thoughts around the Bell to the Marlins for Watson trade. 

1 – Why Make This Trade?

Unlike the Aaron Civale trade, this one makes sense to me.  Josh Bell is not producing the numbers that were expected and with David Fry and Oscar Gonzalez needing more at-bats, Bell leaving now opens the lineup so they play more every day which is needed.

Also with the Civale trade bringing in Kyle Manzardo from the Rays, this now allows Manzardo an opportunity to play in Cleveland next season at 1st base. 

2 – Cut Bait 

As mentioned above, there does come a point when a club has to realize it is not working out for a player on the roster and need to maximize some type of return in value.  Bell was there, it just did not work out and sadly the front office had a bad year in free agency as both Bell and Mike Zunino were failures.  

Unlike Zuninio, who was just a straight release, receiving the prospect Kahlil Watson for Bell is at least some return on the free-agent signing.  

3 – Moving Forward 

The Guardians making this trade signals they are playing out 2023 with an eye toward 2024.  It is going to send some negative competitive vibes to the locker room and that will need to be handled.  

Of course, what is odd is that the Guardians are still in a division chase, only two games out of first place.

I do find it frustrating that the Guardians are not fully in the “Let’s win it” mold.  I get this trade, but at some point, I’m ready to hear as a fan LET’S WIN IT!

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