White Sox and Nationals discussing a possible David Robertson trade

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Ken Rosenthal reports the Nationals are talking to the White Sox about closer David Robertson.

Man, it’s as if they have no faith in Joe Nathan. And as if they’ve lost Jonathan Papelbon‘s phone number. Sad.

Seriously, though, the Nats could use a closer having watched Mark Melancon leave via free agency, and Robertson is probably the best one who could be had. The issue, of course, is that the White Sox promised him a lot of money when they signed him and he’s still owed $25 million over the next two seasons. As for last season, Robertson posted a 3.47 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 75/32 in 62.1 innings while notching 37 saves. He’d probably do a heck of a lot better pitching in the NL — a change of scenery away from the South Side of Chicago can do any pitcher good — and, of course, he is a Proven Closer.™ But he’s nowhere near as good now as he was when he was setting up for the Yankees and that contract is a lot to take on for a reliever.

The Nats haven’t done a ton this winter. And they may not really have to in order to win the NL East, but this is probably one worth watching.

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

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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.