Much of the focus regarding the Washington Nationals has been their willingness to trade Juan Soto, but the team is even more likely to move another player within the next week. Josh Bell is expected to be sent to a contender by MLB’s Aug. 2 deadline.
The New York Mets have shown interest in Bell, SNY’s Andy Martino has reported. though the team isn’t anywhere close to acquiring him from their division rival. The Houston Astros appear to be the more likely landing spot for Washington’s first baseman.
Josh Bell will be wearing a ______ jersey on August 3.#MLBCentral | @jonmorosi | @LaurenShehadi pic.twitter.com/gOTT96zte9
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 26, 2022
The Astros might be on their way toward a sixth straight ALCS appearance. Houston has a 12-game lead for first place in the AL West and has pulled within two games of the New York Yankees for the best record in the American League.
If Houston fails to make a deep playoff run, it’ll likely be the offense that holds the team back. The Astros have the AL’s best ERA. They rank sixth in runs per game and eighth in batting average.
Bell is having one of the best seasons of his career. In 97 games, the veteran is hitting .302/.388/.492 with 13 home runs and 51 RBI. Bell hit 27 home runs last year and 37 home runs in the 2019 season.
Washington could be motivated to trade Bell because he’s in the last year of his contract and likely to leave the Nationals as a free agent after the season. The Nationals are far out of the playoff race, trailing the Mets by 27 games in the NL East.
New York’s chances of trading Bell decreased with the recent acquisition of DH Daniel Vogelbach. The Mets are reportedly looking to make more moves to improve their roster.
The Mets are two games ahead of the Atlanta Braves for first place in the division. New York is fourth in the National League in runs scored.