The Cleveland Guardians are trading first baseman Josh Bell to the Miami Marlins for infielder Jean Segura and infield prospect Kahlil Watson, the teams announced Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Guardians will release Segura, team president Chris Antonetti told members of the media. He’s owed the rest of his salary this year, $8.5 million for next season and a $2 million buyout for 2025.
- Bell is hitting .233 this season with 11 home runs and 48 RBIs.
- Miami is also acquiring pitcher Ryan Weathers from the Padres in exchange for first baseman Garrett Cooper and pitcher Sean Reynolds, per a league source.
- Weathers, a first-round pick in 2018, is 1-6 this season with a 6.25 ERA in 12 games.
We have acquired 2021 1st Rd. pick SS Khalil Watson and 3B Jean Segura from the Miami Marlins for 1B Josh Bell. Segura will be released prior to reporting.
For your community involvement, leadership and everything you brought to the clubhouse and the field, THANK YOU, Josh.… pic.twitter.com/KiP3Uq9Sua
— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) August 1, 2023
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
Bell failed to live up to expectations in Cleveland
The Guardians’ most pressing need after their surprising run to the ALDS last season was more power. For that, they turned to Bell, a free-agent first baseman with a track record that included an All-Star nod and a Silver Slugger Award. He was salivating over the new rules limiting defensive shifts and Cleveland’s brass figured he was poised to provide much-needed lineup protection for José Ramírez. The Guardians granted him a $16.5 million salary for 2023, and tacked on a wrinkle they never offer free agents: a player option, worth another $16.5 million for 2024. Bell failed to find his footing, though, and as his struggles at the plate crept into the summer months, it became more apparent he’d be stuck in Cleveland on a $16.5 million salary in 2024.
When the Guardians acquired first base prospect Kyle Manzardo on Monday, it only increased their motivation to find a taker for Bell. In partnering with the Marlins, they were able to acquire yet another middle infield prospect in Watson, but they were required to absorb the salary of Segura, whom they promptly released upon the completion of the deal. They’ll owe Segura the remainder of his 2023 salary, plus $8.5 million for 2024 and a $2 million buyout for 2025. Watson, once widely considered a Top-100 prospect before enduring some offensive outages, will report to High-A Lake County. — Meisel
Why the Padres made this move
Like the newly acquired Ji Man Choi, Cooper adds some thump and versatility at first base and designated hitter. The Padres, who had been interested in Cooper for several years, can now cover those two spots with a combination of Jake Cronenworth, Choi and Cooper.
The new additions figure to give San Diego a more functional bench. Recently, manager Bob Melvin had resorted to starting both of his primary catchers, Gary Sánchez and Luis Campusano, in the lineup on most days — with whoever wasn’t behind the plate handling DH duties.
Weathers, meanwhile, had become a prime change-of-scenery candidate. The lefty broke into the majors in the 2020 postseason and never gained much traction after that. — Lin
(Photo: Brad Mills / USA Today)