The Cleveland Guardians are looking to build off of a successful 2022 season in which they won 92 games and captured their first division title since 2018.
On Tuesday, the penultimate day of the Winter Meetings, the Guardians made a significant improvement, signing veteran first baseman and former All-Star Josh Bell to a two-year contract.
The deal is worth $33 million and includes a player opt-out clause after the 2023 season.
Even before news of the signing broke, Terry Francona, the team’s manager was asked about what the signing of Bell would mean for the Guardians.
Francona did his best to remain subtle about the team’s intentions, but talked about the goals he and the front office have for the future.
We can't use names just yet, but here's Terry Francona talking about the possibility of this emoji coming to Cleveland: 🔔🔔🔔@CleGuardians | #FortheLand | #WinterMeetings pic.twitter.com/wvSczVG1Sj
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) December 6, 2022
Tito Hints At Offseason Strategy
Clearly, the Guardians want more.
They enjoyed a little taste of success in 2022, but also want to build off of that.
Adding Bell to strengthen their lineup is a good first step.
Bell hit .266 with 17 home runs in 2022 with the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres.
The Padres acquired the 30-year-old in the Juan Soto deal at the trade deadline.
Now, the Guardians have the power bat that they were looking for and a much deeper lineup because of it.
Francona made clear though that the Guardians intend to improve after falling short in the ALDS, talking about how he didn’t want the 2022 season to just be a feel-good story and nothing more.
Cleveland has a chance to build off of their feel-good story from 2022.
The Winter Meetings will come to a close this afternoon, but the Guardians may not be done adding pieces.
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