Cubs looking for relief help, interested in Frasor

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ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Cubs are “urgently seeking relief help” following Angel Guzman’s latest injury setback and have shown interest in Jason Frasor of the Blue Jays.
Frasor is technically in a three-way battle for closing duties with Kevin Gregg and Scott Downs, but will almost surely begin the season in his usual setup role. He’s affordable at just $2.65 million and went 7-3 with a 2.50 ERA and 56/16 K/BB ratio in 57.2 innings last season, but prior to that Frasor had three straight years with an ERA in the 4.00s.
While not a dominant late-inning option he’d certainly be a solid pickup for the Cubs in a seventh- or perhaps even eighth-inning role. For the rebuilding Blue Jays it would make sense to deal Frasor if they can get at least one solid prospect in return, because he’s 32 years old and in his final season before free agency.

Report: Guardians, 1B Josh Bell reach 2-year, $33M deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The Cleveland Guardians and slugging first baseman Josh Bell have agreed to a two-year, $33 million contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a review of medical records.

Bell played for Washington and San Diego last season, batting .266 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 156 games.

Cleveland is coming off a surprising 2022 season, going 92-70 and winning the AL Central for the first time since 2018. The addition of Bell gives the Guardians more power for their lineup after they hit just 127 homers this year – the second-lowest total in the majors.

The 30-year-old Bell is a .262 hitter with 130 homers and 468 RBIs over seven seasons with three big league teams. He had his best year with Pittsburgh in 2019, making the NL All-Star team while batting .277 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs in 143 games.

The switch-hitting Bell also is expected to benefit from restrictions on defensive positioning coming to the game next year.