Cardinals: Left-handed bat options on the free agent market
By Josh Jacobs
Josh Bell is hitting free agency after a two-year stretch where he emerged as one of the best switch-hitters in baseball, spending time at first base, the corner outfield spots, and designated hitter. His bat profiles really well in the Cardinals lineup, but his second half stats from 2022 are a bit concerning.
Before being dealt to the Padres, Bell has a .877 OPS with 14 HR and 57 RBI in 103 games for the Nationals. After the trade, his OPS fell to .587 and he his just 3 HR with 14 RBI in 53 games. The Padres second half as a whole was a bit of a mess, but it should still concern fans at least a little bit.
Bell won’t command a huge deal in free agency due to his limited abilities defensively, but he would profile really well as the number 5 hitter in the Cardinals lineup. His mix of power and on-base skills as a switch hitter makes him a dangerous matchup, and would be a welcomed addition, assuming the 2022 second-half was not a sign of things to come. The Cardinals should seriously consider Bell if they want to upgrade their offense, but his awkward defensive fit is worth considering as well.