Josh Bell’s tenure in Cleveland lasted less than a season.
ESPN is reporting that the Miami Marlins have acquired first baseman Josh Bell from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for infielder Jean Segura and infield prospect Kahlil Watson.
Bell was the Guardians’ signature free agent signing of the offseason, but the 30-year-old first baseman underwhelmed at the plate with a .233/.318/.383 slash line and 95 wRC+. He was expected to add much-needed thump to the lineup but his power bat never materialized, mustering only 11 home runs and a .383 slugging percentage (the second-lowest mark of his big league career). His underperformance likely had the Cleveland front office concerned about his $16.5 million player option for next season. This trade effectively takes care of that.
As for the Guardians’ return, Jean Segura was having a career-worst season with the Marlins. The 33-year-old third baseman is slashing .219/.277/.279 with 55 wRC+ through 326 plate appearances. It has been confirmed Cleveland will release Segura, who is owed the rest of his $6.5 million salary this year, $8.5 million for next season, and a $2 million buyout for 2025.
Then there is Kahlil Watson. A first-round pick in the 2021 MLB Amateur Draft, the 20-year-old infielder can play second base and shortstop and was the Marlins’ No. 11 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He is a left-handed bat with raw power, though he lacks discipline at the plate. Watson posted a 35% strikeout rate while slashing .231/.296/.395 in Single-A in his first full season in the minor leagues. This season, through 243 plate appearances with Miami’s High-A affiliate, he has posted a .206/.337/.362 slash line with 104 wRC+.