Guardians rumors: Josh Bell now considered available

Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Guardians
Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Guardians / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

The Cleveland Guardians may not be done trading away players from their major league roster. Following the trade of Aaron Civale to the Rays, it was Josh Bell who was mentioned as being available per USA Today's Bob Nightengale via Twitter.

"Cleveland #Guardians slugger Josh Bell will now be available, and certainly will be on the trade block this winter. He's owed $16.5 million in 2024, and has the right to opt-out of his contract after this season."

Bob Nightengale on Josh Bell

This is hardly a surprise considering that the Guardians received highly regarded first base prospect Kyle Manzardo in return for Civale. If there was not a definitive end date attached to Bell's time in a Guardians uniform before this deal was made, there is one now. The signing of Bell was a complete swing and miss by Cleveland's front office and considering how much of that occurs during one of his at-bats, it is a very appropriate description of his contract.

It is mentioned by Nightengale that Cleveland could look to trade Bell during the winter should he remain with the ballclub past Tuesday's deadline. One contributing factor could be the overall lack of market for Bell. Another is that there is no need to rush the recently acquired Manzardo to the majors. Manzardo is not currently on the 40-man roster and is not Rule 5 eligible, this is in addition to dealing with his own set of difficulties including a recent shoulder issue. The Guardians could look to get what they can out of Bell over the final two months while keeping Manzardo in Triple-A for the remainder of the year with a chance to make his debut as soon as the beginning of next season.

Should teams actually approach Cleveland about Bell they should jump at almost any opportunity to move him and his contract. With how poorly this season has gone for him, it is almost a guarantee that he opts into the $16.5 million that would be owed to him next season as no team in their right mind would offer him anything close to that in free agency. Getting ahead of this and moving Bell now for almost literally anything should be at the top of their priority list. It is now about what they would get in return, but just getting out from under this mistake of a contract.