Antonetti and Chernoff focused on the second and third tiers of the offseason free agent market, the headline name probably being Josh Bell. A 30-year-old with a reputation for more power potential than actual power, he had been granted free agency by the Nationals, to whom he had been traded in the summer of 2021.
In Cleveland, Bell has generally filled the DH role, and not especially well. He’s hitting .232 with eight homers and a .712 OPS, all of that good for a -0.8 WAA.
The Toussaint signing, which preceded his departure, has been previously noted. The Guardians also signed veteran catcher Mike Zunino as a semi-regular. Zunino never hit much for average, but he had a power reputation. In Cleveland, he lived up to half of that profile, batting .177. As for the power, well his slugging average was .306, about what you or I would do.
Antonetti and Chernoff released him two weeks ago.
The other part of the catching tandem was turned over to free agent Cam Gallagher. No improvement; Gallagher is batting .138 in 34 games and splitting time three ways with rookies Bo Naylor and David Fry. If either or both of them begin to hit a little, Gallagher’s days may also be numbered.