Blog Entry

Hot Stove League profile: Heath Bell

Posted on: November 25, 2010 8:53 am
Through Nov. 26, CBS Sports' MLB Facts and Rumors will be profiling both free agents and trade candidates who will help stoke the fires of the Hot Stove League. Today: trade candidate Heath Bell.

Hot Stove League Heath Bell is entering the final season of arbitration and notched 47 saves for the Padres last season along with a 1.93 ERA in 70 innings. As Bell's price tag is expected to rise to the $6 million range -- if not more -- the Padres could look to trade the righty, especially as he's likely to depart as a free agent. The Padres may not even be able to bank on his attaining Type A status because the compensatory draft pick process may be done away with in the next CBA, due to expire after the 2011 season.

The Padres have no shortage of quality relievers, although they did lose some depth in the deal of Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb to the Marlins for Cameron Maybin. However, they still have closer-quality relievers of Luke Gregorson and Mike Adams, so it may make sense to move Bell.


2010: 6-1, 47 SV, 70 IP, 1.93 ERA, 3.11 xFIP, 28 BB, 86 K

Career: 25-20, 91 SV, 419 1/3 IP, 3.16 ERA, 3.18 xFIP, 140 BB, 443 K


The Padres won't let Health Bell go for anything less than commensurate value befitting a Type-A free agent, even if the CBA does away with the compensation. You can't bank on future occurrences, and it's possible that free-agent compensation will remain.

The Padres could see a young middle reliever in return, given they'll have deleted three pieces out of a strong bullpen with no viable replacement. Barring that, the club also needs a future at second and/or shortstop, depending on if the club believes in Everth Cabrera. Starting pitching is always in vogue, and the Padres could use a young catcher to platoon with Nick Hundley, or fill out the outfield.

However, a lot of what they deal Bell for may be colored by their expectations for an Adrian Gonzalez package, should that happen. If GM Jed Hoyer is confident that Gonzalez will be traded in July or next offseason and knows he'll be able to get an impact outfielder (such as Jacoby Ellsbury or Ryan Kalish from Boston), that may cause him to look in another direction with Bell.


Bell The White Sox are expected to non-tender Bobby Jenks, so Bell could be a fit in the South Side. Chicago does have internal options in Matt Thornton and Sergio Santos (and perhaps J.J. Putz, who is a free agent but offered arbitration), but Chicago has enough problems on its hand -- decreasing the effectiveness of the bullpen may not make sense, depending how the offseason evolves.

If the Yankees somehow, improbably don't come to an accord with Mariano Rivera, Bell makes a lot of sense although New York would likely go after Rafael Soriano as Plan A in that scenario.

Bell could also be a fit in Seattle, as the team is attempting to stay relevant and integrate its top minor league pieces. David Aardsma is still with the team, but belongs in a setup role regardless.

In the NL, the Braves are a possibility with Billy Wagner retiring. However, the team is strapped for cash with plenty of internal candidates for replacement. Out in the Central, no team seems in a strong position to take on Bell. That leaves the Dodgers and Diamondbacks out west, both of whom could use new closers. L.A. may not be ready to give up on Jonathan Broxton, however.

Arizona, on the other hand, has GM Kevin Towers, who engineered Bell's arrival in San Diego and could be interested in a reunion.


Bell stays for now, but is traded at the deadline once the market opens up to include more teams.

Jason Bartlett | Heath Bell | Adrian Beltre | Carl Crawford | Adam Dunn | Prince Fielder | Paul Konerko | Cliff Lee | Victor Martinez (SIGNED) | Dan Uggla (TRADED) | Rafael Soriano | Justin Upton | Jayson Werth

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB

Since: Oct 27, 2010
Posted on: November 25, 2010 4:24 pm

Hot Stove League profile: Heath Bell

The Padres will hopefully get a decent deal for Bell, who to be quite frank is replaceable. The Padres somehow seem to grow bullpen arms and stick in anyone they bring up into that bully and they become successful. If they can somehow get a quality 2b or SS for Bell they would be stupid to not jump at the offer.

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