Stephen Strasburg needs a challenge

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Strasburg Harrisburg.jpgBecause he’s certainly not getting one down at AA.  Today:
one hit in five shutout innings
against the Reading Phillies.*  He
struck out six and walked one, lowering his ERA to 0.73.  First pitch
was 98 m.p.h., but then he settled into a 95ish groove, breaking off 78
m.p.h. curveballs and 88 m.p.h. changeups.

In other news, the Nationals’ financial obligation to Strasburg is $15.1
million. Their obligation to Jason Marquis is $15 million.  Since it’s
all equal and everything, hows about they trade places?

*BTW, if you’re in Reading on Friday, I suggest you stop by and
meet Jerry “The King” Lawler.
You can also pick up a Lawler
commemorative cup. In other news, the minor leagues rock.

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.