By Sam Bush
The Nationals are trading for Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell, the teams announced today, in exchange for pitching prospects Wil Crowe and Eddy Yean.
Bell, 28, was an All-Star in 2019, hitting 37 home runs with 116 RBI. He struggled in the shortened 2020 campaign batting .226 with eight home runs and 22 RBI but averaged 25 home runs, 89 RBI and an .836 OPS the prior three seasons.
Washington missed the playoffs in 2020 after winning the World Series the year before and desperately needed to upgrade its lineup to provide some protection for Juan Soto.
Crowe, ranked by MLB.com as the organization’s No. 3 prospect, reached the majors in 2020 while while the 19-year-old Yean (No 6) hasn’t pitched above Class A.