The Cleveland Guardians have been linked to Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy throughout the offseason. However, Cleveland is also reportedly interested in former All-Star Josh Bell, per Jon Heyman.
The Guardians enjoyed a surprising 2022 season that saw them upset the Chicago White Sox and win the AL Central. Despite featuring the youngest roster in all of baseball, Cleveland still won over 90 games. Their young core is promising but adding a veteran slugger such as Josh Bell would add necessary thump to the middle of the order.
Bell opened the 2022 campaign in Washington with the Nationals before getting dealt to the San Diego Padres ahead of the trade deadline. There is no denying the fact that he labored mightily in San Diego. However, Bell had slashed .301/.384/.493 with 14 home runs for the Nationals prior to the trade.
The Guardians' offense was often carried by Jose Ramirez and Andres Gimenez last year. Rookie Steven Kwan was impressive at the top of the order as well, but Cleveland needs more offense if they want to make a deep October run.
With reigning AL Manager of the Year Terry Francona leading the charge, Cleveland's front office is confident that they can perform well once again in 2023. But the Guardians will see drastic offensive improvement if they are able to bring in Josh Bell and Sean Murphy.
With that being said, the Guardians will need to strike fast as free agency continues to heat up. We will continue to provide updates as they are made available.