The Milwaukee Brewers offense has been the cause of a lot of discontent in recent years. This year’s offense is inconsistent, frustrating and dependent on the long ball with low averages up and down the lineup. Good news! The perfect addition is available at the MLB Trade Deadline and being a rental shouldn’t cost much to acquire him. The addition I’d love to see the Brewers add to this lineup: Nationals 1B Josh Bell.
Why Bell fits so well
Bell would immediately slide into the middle of the Brewers’ order. Bell has played exclusively at first base this year but did play corner outfield spots last year as well. However, I don’t see it as an issue as Bell isn’t a great defender. Neither is Rowdy Tellez. However, one could pencil one into the designated hitter role. It might cause Andrew McCutchen to play more in the field, but I don’t think it would be cumbersome as Bell would add a dynamic hitter to the Brewers lineup with a career 122 OPS+ and a 162-game average of 26 runs above replacement.
Bell, a switch hitter, has been fantastic at the plate in 2022. He is hitting over .300 with a .304/.386/.491 slashline with 12 homers and 47 RBIs. He has a 154 OPS+ and 3.1 WAR according to Baseball Reference. He also is hitting .276 with RISP.
Another positive with his .877 OPS is he doesn’t strike out a lot. Bell has struck out just 50 times, while walking 40 times in 316 at-bats and playing 87 games. Bell would bring an overall offensive mix of power, clutch hitting, discipline and low K rate this Brewers team needs. Also, he hits well from both sides of the plate. As a RHH he is hitting .289 with five homers in just 114 at-bat and a .868 OPS. As a LHH, Bell is hitting .312 with a .882 OPS.
Josh Bell is hitting .305 this year for the Nationals as a switch hitting 1B/DH. He’s on last year of his deal and is 29 years old.
Could be an interesting trade deadline piece 👀
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) June 3, 2022
Acquiring Bell wouldn’t cost much
Bell is a rental and will be a free agent after the season. While it is nice to acquire a guy with team control of more than just a few months, I think Bell could have a big impact on the Brewers’ lineup construction to put everyone in a better fit – Kolten Wong isn’t a 5-hitter. Bell is an ideal fit to an offense that needs a guy who has a proven track record of driving in runs while also making contact consistently. Because Bell is only certain to be in Milwaukee for a few months, the Brewers wouldn’t have to surrender a top prospect in all likelihood.
Dealing with the Nationals who are out of the playoff race already I would also check on if they would throw in a middle reliever like Carl Edwards Jr. into the deal for another prospect. The proposed deal would be Tyler Black (Brewers No. 7 prospect) and C Mario Feliciano (No. 20 prospect) and perhaps another lower rated prospect could get the deal done.
According to @mlbtraderumors , we should be able to secure a top 100 type prospect for Josh Bell pic.twitter.com/piKiASQ27y
— Kev (@OnePursuitTakes) July 12, 2022
Bell is the hitter Brewers need
The Brewers’ championship window is now. I would be elated to see this move done at the deadline. Yes, Josh Bell can walk after the year. However, he seems to be the perfect fit for this lineup. He isn’t all or nothing, but he is a legit middle of the order bat. He has power but doesn’t strike out much unlike many hitters in the Brewers lineup. Getting a hitter like Bell for a limited prospect package seems like a rare opportunity to add a well-rounded hitter to the lineup with an elite starting rotation under team control. Josh Bell would be a perfect trade deadline addition.
Highest OPS+ among players NOT initially selected to the All-Star Game (min. 300 PA):
1. Josh Bell (154 OPS+)
2. Austin Riley (146)
3. Ty France (144)
4. Freddie Freeman (142)
5. Anthony Rizzo (141)
— Matt Weyrich (@ByMattWeyrich) July 11, 2022
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