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Long-Term Deal Coming for Heath Bell?

By agreeing to a one-year, $1.225MM deal earlier today, the Padres and Heath Bell avoided the potentially distasteful process of exchanging figures, and Bell avoided the always distasteful process of getting dressed up.

Now, Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the two parties  may soon come to terms on a multi-year extension.

Regarding the likelihood of such an extension, Padres GM Kevin Towers stated, "We explored it in September for probably about a month. It's something we're still open to. I imagine that's something we will explore in the next couple days. I don't see this thing dragging out."

Bell, set to replace Trevor Hoffman as the Padres' closer in 2009, had a 3.58 ERA in 78 innings in 2008.


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