Heath Bell’s Trade Value

4:59pm: Former Padres GM Kevin Towers told Jim Bowden of FOX Sports that he would ask for Aaron Hicks, Ben Revere or Angel Morales from the Twins in return for Bell if he were still running the Padres (Twitter link). Baseball America ranked the three outfielders first, fifth and eighth among Twins prospects heading into the season.

FRIDAY, 1:34pm: Whether it happens now or in July, the Padres are likely to entertain trade offers for their All-Star closer. Heath Bell has value and the Padres don't appear ready to contend for a playoff spot so GM Jed Hoyer will presumably consider trading the right-hander. The Twins are eyeing Bell, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today and more teams will want relievers by late July. 

Bell compares favorably to the group of relievers that signed the biggest free agent contracts this offseason. He had a lower walk rate (3.1 BB/9) and more saves (42) than Jose Valverde, Brandon Lyon, Fernando Rodney and Mike Gonzalez and posted a higher strikeout rate than everyone except Gonzalez (Bell: 10.2 K/9, Gonzalez: 10.9 K/9).

Valverde, Lyon, Rodney and Gonzalez all signed multi-year deals worth $11MM or more, but Bell makes just $4MM this year. Next year, he's in line for a raise via arbitration if, as expected, his club tenders him a deal. Bell's ability and salary make him a valuable commodity on the trade market, but it's not clear what that translates into for the Padres.

When the Orioles traded George Sherrill last summer, they were working with a similar player. Sherrill was making less ($2.75MM) and the Dodgers acquired him midseason, but he was nonetheless effective, cheap and controllable through 2011, like Bell is now.

The Orioles acquired Josh Bell – now ranked by Baseball America as the organization's number two prospect – in the Sherrill trade. The third base prospect has "above-average power and a good approach" and projects to be Baltimore's third baseman before long, according to BA. Given their closer's contract status and ability, the Padres have every reason to ask for a top prospect in any trade.


49 Responses to Heath Bell’s Trade Value Leave a Reply

  1. Guest 5 years ago

    What about a Heath Bell for Wilson Ramos swap?

    • It will take a little more than Ramos at this point, but you are on the right track.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        No way will it be Ramos and Revere if that’s what you had in mind.

        Ramos, Perkins, and Slama?

  2. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    The Twins are unlikely to give up a top-notch prospect; Hicks, Revere, Sano, etc. Certainly not anyone of Josh Bell’s “top 3 in a farm system” caliber. It’s just too far removed from their longstanding practice.

    They are more inclined to move a “potentially top tier prospect” like a Ramos, or major-league ready talent that doesn’t fit in the organization (think Perkins, Duensing, Manship, Swarzak, Casilla).

    If you want to speculate on offers the Twins would be inclined to make, think Ramos headlining as the prospect, and Swarzak as the major leaguer.

    • Guys that fit the mold of what the Padres would be looking for are players such as Ramos, Broomberg, Revere, Joe Benson and Tyler Robertson.

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        Revere has been a jewel of the Twins farm system for a few years now. He’s following the big-league-grooming-path of Hunter, Morneau, Mauer, Jones, Cuddyer, et al before him. I’ve followed the Twins very closely for 10 years now, and I’d be shocked if they moved a Ben Revere for 2-years of a closer.

        If Revere is what it would take, I don’t see a deal happening. This entire line of speculation is moot if the Padres asking price is as high as you seem to indicate – the Twins simply scouted Bell; they’ll move on if he can’t be had for less than their 2012-2017 starting outfielder.

        • I’ve heard the same thing from other Twins people. I just wanted to give you an idea of what guys in the Twins system fit the type of players the Padres are looking at.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            In other words, “Move along people, nothing to see here…”

            By the by, I dug your blog on the matter. Unlike alot of folks, you’re actually (perhaps unintentionally) putting a wet blanket on the likelihood of anything coming of this speculation, instead of making outlandish expectations.

          • Thanks a lot. We work hard on it. I would have posted the article on here, but I don’t want MLBTR to think I’m just coming on here to pimp my site.

    • briankoke 5 years ago

      What about Angel Morales? With all the outfield depth do you think they would give him up?

  3. portio 5 years ago

    i think that the twins will hang on to Ramos, and any catching depth for that matter, till Mauer is signed to his extension. If they traded Ramos and werent able to sign Mauer, Jose Morales and Drew Butera would the only depth we have

    • That is a great point. Ramos is a big chip for the Padres because the organization lacks any depth at the position.

  4. BadEnoughDude 5 years ago

    I have a hard time believing that they’d give up Ramos at this point. Seems to have a hold on the backup C position with the Twins, and there are logjams at other positions. If they do indeed deal for Bell, I’d expect it to be for 2-3 of the extra starters that we have (Duensing, Perkins, Manship, etc). Including Casilla would be optimal, but I can’t imagine that the Padres value him at all.

    • Drew 5 years ago

      Actually Morales will be the long term catching backup, as soon as he comes back. The ONLY reason there’s a Butera/Ramos discussion is because of Morales’ injury. Three weeks to a month and both Butera and Ramos will be back in the Minors.

  5. Guest 5 years ago

    Perkins is not on the Padres radar. They already have probably 5 pitchers that would be ahead of him on the depth chart now in SD!

    Ramos would be a likely “prospect”. IMO BUT, is that enough before the seasons starts? Not so sure the Padres pull the trigger on that one now.

    However the Padres would have to get some what “bowled over” in any move to trade him because he is affordable and is willing to take a “SD discount”. Not to mention I doubt with the new rising talent on the Padres team they would want to move their starting closer before the season opens in contrast to at the deadline when several teams will be in the mix for relief help and many of the Padres players will likely be on the trading block if out of contention, which is VERY likely.

    • As always, great points Mickey. The Twins will need to over pay if they want Bell now, but that could still come cheaper than when a bidding way breaks out in July.

  6. jakec77 5 years ago

    I wrote this earlier in the other post about Heath Bell- I don’t necessarily agree that just because the Padres are (likely) non-contenders that they don’t need a closer.

    There is nothing more demoralizing than losses in the final inning. Demoralizing for the team and the fans. If you want to at least seem respectable (for attendance purposes), a closer is a necessity.

    Besides, a closer helps develop other pitchers. For young players, helps with their confidence after they have pitched well enough to win. For a guy like Chris Young, if you are the Padres and looking to trade him at the deadline, would you rather that he be 8-5 or 5-5, even if every other stat is exactly the same. Wins bring a presumption of competence, rightly or wrongly.

    Now, if they get an offer that is too good to refuse, by all means, do the deal. But otherwise, I hold onto Bell at least until the deadline, and maybe beyond.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      I agree with a lot of what you touched on. There will always be many close ball games also at Petco. It is almost always a pitching duel their, a closer in Petco is VERY important!

      • I have to disagree with you both. This team is not in a position to make the playoffs this season. With that said, a closer like Bell is a luxury. I realize that the team will have a drop off from Bell to Adams and future closer Gregorson, but when you can add a catching prospect such as Castro it’s a no brainer. This organization is thinking long term and Bell at 32 with one more remaining year of arbitration. He is going to be moved, I think the Twins may have realized they can pick him up now before a bidder war break out in July.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          Castro or Ramos?

        • Guest 5 years ago

          You cannot throw in the towel before ST. Even if there is no way the Padres can “compete” realistically, that does not send a good message for the fans. Already have a PR prob. with Peavy leaving, Hoffman etc. They need to sell tickets and regain the fans support under the new regime! Moorad has talked about the payroll going up depending upon the fan support and production, that will not happen by trading away our “stars” in ST.

          I also did say, it would depend on what the package was. Meaning if the got overwhelmed they could move him, I get that. But in Petco park of all places is vital for the back end of games. The Padres will never be one of the higher scoring teams , they need a reliable closer in Petco. Bell is cheap, no reason to jump on the first offer, again unless they are overwhelmed, Ramos maybe but there is no rush.

          The Padres are in a great position with both Bell and Adrian. So no matter who the are dealt to I have no doubt both players will bring back quality to the Padres not JUST quantity.

          While I do not think they are “high” on Hundley or Ryan I do think they feel that losing their star for another “prospect” is a bit risky when you do not even know yet what either catcher we have can do thus far. Of course there is no doubt I would rather Ramos we would be trading a sure thing legit closer at peak value when we have two catchers with SOME upside, I just don’t think they pull the trigger now.

  7. thrylos98 5 years ago

    The Twins will not give a top prospect for a reliever, no matter who that reliever is. They have a lot of OF depth in the minors and young OFs in the majors, so I expect someone of the second tier of the OF prospects (Benson, Tosoni, A. Morales) along with some ML talent (Casilla, Perkins, ?) The truth is that they need a roster spot on both rosters so someone with no options on the 40 man roster will have to go and maybe an infield prospect (Dinkelman, Singleton, Portes) depending on the OF prospect.

  8. wild05fan 5 years ago

    There is no chance he ends up in Minnesota if they have to give up one of their top prospects. The only guy I’d give up at the top would be Ramos, and that’s only if they get Mauer resigned.

  9. Guest 5 years ago

    Cannot use the Dodger deal as a comp. AT ALL.

    Stupid cheap ownership is too blame on that one.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Sherrill is also nothing like Bell.

      • ivdown 5 years ago

        Idk, both are stocky looking guys 😉

        • Guest 5 years ago

          Wii fitness didn’t seem to help Bell out much this spring, dude looks HUGE! lol

          Id keep Ichiro away from Heath when he is hungry.

  10. smootsmack 5 years ago

    This seems pretty simple to me:

    The Padres should ask for a very good prospect.

    The Twins should not offer one.

    The discussions should end.

    The Twins do have some good prospects, but none of them strike me as guys you’d move for Heath Bell. Revere would be the one guy the Twins might be willing to trade amongst the group of strong outfield prospects. Hicks and Morales should pretty much be off-limits, they’re each far too talented. Other than that, there are strong outfield prospects in the Twins system: Joe Benson, Rene Tosoni, Chris Parmalee…

    But if I’m the Padres, I don’t know if I’d take two lesser guys.

    I just don’t see a match between the two teams. The Padres are going to want more than the Twins will be comfortable offering.

  11. ElsewhereandOtherwise 5 years ago

    Wouldn’t surprise me if the Cubs swap some of their minor league pitching and/or infielders-not-named-Starlin for Bell come July if they are in contention.

  12. crunchy1 5 years ago

    I disagree that Revere is off limits. They have Denard Span in CF. They have Aaron Hicks. Depending on what happens with Delmon Young, Revere’s future on the Twins may be as a 4th outfielder. They also have a good outfielder behind him in Morales. That’s 4 players capable of playing CF. You have to think the Twins would deal from depth. If they have a chance to acquire 2 years of an elite closer, I don’t think Revere is necessarily a deal breaker. In fact, I’d be a little surprised if he wasn’t the centerpiece in the deal.

    • smootsmack 5 years ago

      Revere is the only one of the Twins Top 10 I think Smith would make available. He profiles as a Juan Pierre type player. Hicks and Morales (who I like a lot more than Hicks) should both be off limits. They both have all-star potential.

  13. East Coast Bias 5 years ago

    Is Towers allowed to say that?

    • smootsmack 5 years ago

      Nothing against the rules about it.

    • GasLampGuru 5 years ago

      He’s not with the team anymore, so it’s not tampering. He would only be prohibited from saying that if he were still affiliated with the Padres.

  14. wild05fan 5 years ago

    If they absolutely had to give up an outfielder, then I’d give up Revere before Morales. No way is Hicks going anywhere.

  15. Patattack 5 years ago

    So if they don’t land Bell (which it sounds like they won’t), does Rauch have the upper hand for the closing job?

    • twins33 5 years ago

      I would say Guerrier has the upper hand. He’s better than Rauch. The only thing I worry about in Guerrier is if he has the mentality. Twins scouts/manager and all those guys say that he does though.

  16. bbxxj 5 years ago

    Hicks for Bell? Did Rauch have TJ too?

    Revere may be too much too. I just don’t see the sense of trading legit spects for a reliever when you have a handfull of good ones already in camp.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Not JUST a reliever, a legit big time closer. Bell has become one of the better closers in all of BB.

  17. coup 5 years ago

    This is what I do if I’m the Padres. Wait until the Twins lose game after game due to bad late-inning pitching. The Twins will be groveling for Heath Bell. Demand Hicks, Revere, or Morales at this point.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      The ridiculous over-valuing of closers never ceases.

      “Game after game due to bad late-inning pitching…” really? There’s plenty of competent relievers on the roster and plenty in the upper minors to call upon too. I’d rather have Anthony Slama close than trade something of value for Bell.

      Demand Hicks. Haha. Ok. See how fast the phone gets hung up on Hoyer. It’d probably be the fastest Bill Smith has ever hung up the phone.

    • twins33 5 years ago

      I think the Twins have at least 3 guys on the ML roster who can do the job. Then they have 1-2 in the minors.

      I’d give Guerrier the job and I think he could probably get 30 saves.

  18. jerm11 5 years ago

    There is absolutely no way they will get either Revere or Hicks

  19. jasonhouck 5 years ago

    Laughing at people saying Wilson Ramos in any of these comments. The guy is one of the highest rated prospects in baseball, plays a position we might have a huge hole at by the end of the season, was just named by Baseball America as player of the year in the highly competitive winter ball leagues, is the #2 prospect in the organization and number 39 overall in all of baseball, and his star is only rising after getting healthy from last year. He ISNT going anywhere, in any deal. Neither is Hicks, or Sano. The Twins dont trade away high end prospects, never have, never will. Especially for a 32 year old closer who will ask for 10 million plus next year in arbitration, we will already be paying Nathan his 11 million, no way do the Twins give away a premier prospect, plus pay two guys a combined 21 million + in the bullpen. Not gonna happen. A deal with Toronto is far more likely, and in accordance with how the Twins generally do deals. Forget about Bell if SD is asking for Hicks, Ramos or Sano. Revere, maybe. And thats a big maybe.

    • twins33 5 years ago

      I agree with all of that. The Twins have insurance on Nathan’s contract so they’ll get at least half of his contract back, but they won’t see that money until the season is over.

      I’m against it for multiple reasons. I don’t like trading everyday players, even prospects (especially top prospects), for relievers. I know it’s probably a common thing, but I don’t like it.

      Bell has had one year as closer and suddenly people are calling him elite. I’d like to see him repeat it a time or two before people rate him so high. I didn’t think Nathan was elite for awhile. I wanted to make sure he could keep it up.

      Lastly, Bell’s number’s before becoming a closer are not too far off of Guerrier’s career numbers (just from glancing at them at least). The biggest, and probably only difference, between Bell and Guerrier is strikeout ability. Bell strikes out a lot more guys and you want that in your closer, but I don’t think it’s a deal breaker. I think closers can be successful without having really high K numbers. Why would Bell be able to do it and not Guerrier? At least give the guy a shot before anyone says “the Twins have absolutely no one who can do it” which isn’t even close to true anyway.

  20. summerkid 5 years ago

    I just don’t see why the Twins would risk it. They are going to be making a run at the World Series, why chance it by not getting a proven closer? Especially when we are talking about a guy who is being blocked by Maur (and you better believe the Twins resign him, there is no way they let that guy walk).

  21. summerkid 5 years ago

    I just don’t see why the Twins would risk it. They are going to be making a run at the World Series, why chance it by not getting a proven closer? Especially when we are talking about a guy who is being blocked by Maur (and you better believe the Twins resign him, there is no way they let that guy walk).

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