CLEVELAND, OH – The Cleveland Guardians have officially signed free agent DH/1B Josh Bell.
Bell, 30, split the 2022 season between the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres, collecting career-highs in hits (147) and walks (81) on his way to winning his first career Silver Slugger Award (DH). For the year, he batted a combined .266 (147-for-552) with 29 doubles, 3 triples, 17 home runs and 71 RBI in 156 games (.362/.422/ .784). At the time of his August 2nd trade to San Diego along with Juan Soto, he ranked fourth in the National League in on-base pct. (.384), fifth in average (.301), sixth in hits (113) and seventh in OPS (.877), compiling two 15-game on-base streaks along the way. For the year, he finished sixth in the NL in walks and eighth in on-base pct. (.362).
The 2019 NL All-Star and Progressive Field Home Run Deby participant started his professional career with the Pittsburgh Pirates after his 2011 second round selection (61st overall) out of Dallas’ Jesuit College Prep School. He was named Pittsburgh’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2014 and 2016, participated in two SiriusXM Futures Games (2014-15) and was a consensus top-100 prospect prior to his 2016 MLB debut. He played five seasons for the Pirates, finishing third in the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year voting, and finishing sixth in the NL in RBI (116) and extra-base hits (77) during his 2019 All-Star campaign. He was traded to Washington following the 2020 season, spending a season and a half with the Nationals. For his career, he has batted .307 (138-for-449) with 29 2B, 22 HR and 76 RBI in 121 games vs. the American League clubs (.378/.532/.910), including a .314 (64-for-204) mark vs. the AL Central (.875 OPS). Since 2017, he ranks fourth among ML switch-hitters in HR (127), total bases (1303) and extra-base hits (294).
Josh has been very active in the community during his time in the Majors, serving as the official player ambassador for the Nationals Philanthropies' Youth Baseball Academy and was Washington’s Roberto Clemente Award nominee in 2022 in addition to being Pittsburgh’s 2020 nominee. He also shared his love of reading by launching the Josh Bell Book Club in 2021, a monthly program in which he selected books written to inspire being and becoming better individuals, expanding the book club concept in 2022 to reach Black children. He worked with the Washington D.C. Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe Academy, whose mission is to help at-risk youth. He was voted the “Good Guy” Award by Washington D.C. media after the 2021 season.