Video: Nolan Arenado clubs a grand slam

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Third baseman Nolan Arenado crept closer to the 40-homer plateau on Wednesday afternoon, belting a grand slam in the second inning off of Luke Weaver, boosting the Rockies’ lead to 6-1. It’s number 39 on the year for Arenado, who is also hitting .294 with a .935 OPS and 128 RBI. The grand slam was Arenado’s first of the season and the fourth of his career.

Here’s the MLB.com video.

Arenado’s traditional stats are terrific, but when it comes to the National League Most Valuable Player Award race, he falls back a little bit when one accounts for his home ballpark. Coors Field, of course, is notorious for inflating Rockies’ players’ offensive stats as well as their pitchers’ ERA. Indeed, Arenado came into Wednesday with a 1.018 OPS at home and .832 away. That’s still great, he’s just not an otherworldly hitter in other ballparks.

Arenado’s OPS would be seventh-best in the National League, but his 125 wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created, adjusted for park factors) ranks 15th. He bumps back up in Wins Above Replacement, however, due to his superb defense. Only a handful of players have been better defensively at any position than Arenado has been at third.

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.