5 Early Trade Targets for the Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays v Washington Nationals
Tampa Bay Rays v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages
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Josh Bell
Houston Astros v Washington Nationals / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

Target 1: Josh Bell

Tampa Bay has gotten off to a slow start offensively this season, even with considering offense being down across the league. The club currently ranks 18th in OPS and 16th in SLG, two numbers they will need to improve on to be legit contenders and go deep in October.

Getting better performances from key contributors like Brandon Lowe and Randy Arozarena will go a long way in helping this, but the club could use another consistent option in the middle of their order - and that is where Josh Bell comes in.

Bell is currently 10th in baseball with a .916 OPS playing for a struggling Nationals ballclub. He has been one of their few bright spots this year, and is certainly a name they will look to move for prospects this season. Bell has been a name that began to head up in 2021 and has carried that performance into 2022.

The Rays could really use more production against right handed pitching, and Bell currently has an OPS of 1.037 against them in 95 PA. He holds his own against left handed pitching as well, slashing .267/.365/.333 in 52 PA.

Ji Man Choi has cooled off a bit since his hot start to the year, and outfielders like Arozarena, Kevin Kiermaier, and Brett Phillips have not gotten the job done for the club. Bell can slot in at first base, corner outfield, or the DH spot, fitting right in with a club that values versatility and lineup flexibility.