First baseman Josh Bell
All-Star slugger Josh Bell quickly became a fan favorite in Pittsburgh. From his days as a highly touted prospect, after receiving the largest signing bonus in MLB Draft history, to hitting a grand slam in his second MLB at bat back in 2016, Pittsburgh Pirates fans have long adored JB.
Well, the team’s star first baseman is set to become a free agent following the 2022 season. Due to this, unless the team believes they will be ready to contend in 2021, the best way to maximize Bell’s value would be to trade him prior to the start of the 2021 season.
So, has Bell played his last game as a Pirate?
While it is is not as a likely as some other players on this list, it remains possible. By losing the 2020 season in which rising players such as Cole Tucker, Joe Musgrove, Kevin Newman, Mitch Keller, and Nick Burdi could have continued to develop as MLB players, as well as top prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes solidifying himself as the team’s starting third baseman, it would be a lost year of development. This would all but assure the team will not be ready to compete in 2021.
If the team is not in a position to compete in 2021, then trading Bell in the off-season would be the team’s best course of action for loading up on young talent that can help them win a year or two in the future. While it is not something many fans would like, if there is no 2020 season then be prepared to never watch Bell as a Pirate again.