NY Mets trade rumors: DH trade candidate Josh Bell
Finally, we get to the last designated hitter candidate who has appeared in Mets trade rumors, and it is another Washington National. Josh Bell, who has admirably served as the Nationals first baseman for the past couple years, is batting .308/.389/.497 with an OPS+ of 156. He currently has 12 home runs and 47 RBI on the season through 86 games.
Josh Bell makes sense for the Mets because he is a much more powerful left-handed hitter than Smith, and therefore would be projected to have the biggest impact down the stretch. Bell is also capable of hitting right-handed as well, which makes him valuable to the Nationals because of his switch-hitting ability. Whereas Davis and Smith are primarily deployed depending on the pitching matchup, the Mets would not have to be concerned about that as much with Bell.
The Nationals have no reason to hang onto Bell. Despite Bell’s numbers, the Nationals are a bad team, and they currently have the worst record in the National League. They will have the desire to make a deal, knowing that the alternative is that they would lose him for nothing in the offseason.
The downside, though, is because Bell is having a career year, he is also probably going to be the most expensive slugger to acquire out of the four trade candidates mentioned in this article. It is also important to note that Bell is 29 years old and will be a free agent at the end of the year. For a two-month rental, any team acquiring him is going to have to be willing to part with valuable prospects. It’s possible that the Mets may not want to do that, considering that their team is already pretty good and they value their organizational depth.
The other complication that comes with Bell is whether the Nationals would be amenable to an intradivision trade. As a general competitive principle, most teams do not like to trade within their division, knowing the risk that a potential trade would carry: there’s always the possibility that the traded player could come back to haunt his previous team, especially since divisional matchups are frequent.
Either way, the Mets should still call the Nationals to see if they can work something out. Smith and Davis, while not terrible hitters, have not gotten the job done, and if an upgrade can be had, the Mets need to pursue it because they are a team with World Series aspirations.