2. Josh Bell will sign with the Astros
Houston needs to find an answer at first base with Yuli Gurriel and Trey Mancini no longer on the roster, and Josh Bell fits a need for the defending World Champions at the plate and in the field.
A switch hitter, Bell and the Astros were linked together several times during last season’s trade deadline, but he and Juan Soto were eventually sent from Washington to San Diego. The Astros won’t let Bell get away this offseason, and will bring the 30-year-old Texas native back to the Lone Star State to boost their lineup.
Don’t let Bell’s .192/.316/.271 slash line in San Diego after the trade fool you. He can provide plenty of pop for the Astros and fit in nicely in the middle of the lineup.
3. Willson Contreras will sign with the Cardinals
The former backstop for the Cubs will head to Chicago’s arch-rival and fill a need for the Cardinals at catcher.
With Yadier Molina retiring, St. Louis needs to find a face for the future behind the plate and that will happen with the 30-year-old Contreras becoming a Cardinal for the rest of his career.
St. Louis bowing out of the postseason early again in 2022 is putting pressure on the Cardinals to find a way to ensure they can not only repeat as division champions, but also be a force once meaningful October baseball arrives. Contreras adds to an already stacked St. Louis lineup and will be a drastic improvement over the OPS+ of 53 that Molina put together in 2022.