Heath Bell Hopes For Three-Year Deal

Heath Bell’s good at what he does and he’d like some job security. The Padres closer, who received MLB's Delivery Man of the Year award this week, told Dan Hayes of the North County Times that he’d like a multi-year deal from the Padres this offseason.

"Three years is perfect," Bell said. "I don't expect more because I'm an older guy."

Bell, who earned $4MM this year, hits free agency after next season. The subject of near-constant trade rumors, Bell says he’s “optimistic” that Padres GM Jed Hoyer will hold onto him. The Padres can keep Bell for 2011 even if they don't offer him an extension.

If the Padres decide to part with the big 33-year-old, they’d likely find a number of suitors. Bell posted a 1.93 ERA with 47 saves last year and made the All-Star team for the second consecutive season. Armed with a mid-90s fastball and a curve, Bell posted 11.1 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 last year, anchoring the Padres’ strong ‘pen.

39 Responses to Heath Bell Hopes For Three-Year Deal Leave a Reply

  1. The_Porcupine 5 years ago

    A 3 year deal seems reasonable, maybe for 21 mil. And yes, a team like the Padres should trade Bell for the best package they can get this offseason. He would arguablly be the best reliever on the market (Rivera will never really hit the market). The problem is, their may not be as many teams looking for a big salary closer. They might have to wait until midseason.

  2. Given the Padres stacked bullpen and their apparent ability to find cheap parts for it I don’t see why they’d keep Bell much longer. He’s good but at his price he’s a bit of a luxury for them.

    • Sd_brain 5 years ago

      Towers was the main reason the padres were able to “find cheap parts” for the pen. I think they should keep Bell by any means necessary without jeopardizing the team as a whole, Bell’s the fire of the pen.

      • $1529282 5 years ago

        A low-payroll team can’t afford to be giving 15% of its payroll to a guy who’s only going to throw 70 innings for them. Their bullpen is stacked with cheap options. It’s time for Gregerson or someone else to take over the 9th while Bell is moved to keep payroll down and add some much-needed offense.

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          they might as well keep Bell, arguably the best closer in Baseball, and fill the offensive void in other ways. Signing Orlando Hudson for example is a good place to start.

          • briankoke 5 years ago

            The Padres offensive problems are not solved by signing a light hitting second baseman. They need a significant upgrade offensively and there isn’t anything realistic on the FA market for the Padres. Bell is one of the only decent trade chips they have to bring in offense. I’d much rather give up Bell than Luebke or Castro. They had the best bullpen in baseball and they have a ton of depth. Adams becomes closer, Gregerson gets the 8th, and Frieri or Webb get the 7th, so on down the line. It’s trading an enormous strength for the teams biggest weakness.

          • Tko11 5 years ago

            Lets say Mike Adams becomes closer, does well and when his contract ends are they supposed to get rid of him as well because hes going to be expensive?

          • Yankees420 5 years ago

            If they have a viable replacement option for much cheaper, then yes, that’s exactly what the Padres should do. They cannot afford to be using their limited financial resources on parts of the team where equivalent production can be had at 1/10th of the cost.

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            Since when is Orlando Hudson a light hitting second baseman?

          • He’s going into his age 33 season coming off a .710 OPS, hasn’t hit double digit home runs since 2007, hasn’t had an OPS above .800 in two years. He was a pretty good hitter for a second baseman at one time but he’s regressing and shouldn’t reasonably be expected to be above average next year.

          • TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

            The best closer in baseball? Look, as a Yankee fan I’m obviously prejudiced, but can you really support that when he closes against less than terrifying NL West lineups?What numbers are you looking at?

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            So what your saying is that he’s closed 47 games against NL West teams? Even if that was true, the diamondbacks, dodgers, and Rockies aren’t exactly done deals when it comes to closing games.

          • Agreed. Rivera may technically be better but you still have to factor in things like age and durability, and Mariano is getting up there. It’s getting to the point that you’d have to seriously consider other options than him if you had your choice of closer going into 2011. I don’t doubt he’ll be good next year and maybe the year after if he wants to play that long but it’s no guarantee.

          • TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

            @ Pageian: Anytime someone says there’s a better closer than Rivera – it annoys me. But it is obvious that you can eliminate Rivera because he’s 41 next year, and if you’re looking for who can help you most over the next 3 years, it’s very unlikely to be him.

            But what Span-D said is that Bell is arguably better than anyone in the game, and I disagree.

            Bell being the best closer in the game needs to be looked at against every other closer in the game. Based on ERA/WHIP/Saves and years, I would take Joakim Soria’s 4 year record over Bell’s 2 year record.

            When you look at Bell’s record he’s had one good season and one great season. His WHIP was not fantastic in either, and his ERA not that great in 2009. I can’t give anyone best closer in the game off of those numbers. Not unless the guy won WS both years and closed tight games in the postseason while pitching more than 3 outs at a time.

            Without all of that he’s a special one-year player, who might not replicate that year ever again.

            @Span-D: Yes, I don’t respect the pitching numbers from the NL West like those from other divisions. There are too many weak hitting teams in that division. However, in considering that comment further, I should note that Bell plays for the Padres thus eliminating facing what seems to be the worst offense in NL West group

  3. GOLSF 5 years ago

    Mets are in the market due to FRod blow up. Too bad Heath’s big mouth lost him the NYM as a bargaining chip at minimum. That said, this is good for the Mets given their long track record of player departing, becoming stars elsewhere, then bombing upon their return…

    Jermony Burtnitz
    Jason Bay, etc…

    • RomanBats 5 years ago

      So your having cited 2 examples serves as a viable argument? I’m sure I can dig hard and find similar cases in most MLB clubs’ histories. People love to bash the Mets because it’s the trendy thing to do.

      • TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

        Met fans bash the NY Mets most. They’re the ones who are hurting when the team trades away guys who do well elsewhere, and they’re the ones who are disappointed when they get them back and they don’t perform.

        So you never know when someone like mikewsf is a fan or a hater.

  4. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    Hypothetical, what do people think the Pads can get for Bell on the open market.

    • AceGunderson 5 years ago

      Hmm…that’s a tough question. As good as he is, it’d be essentially signing a CP to a one year (albeit likely affordable) deal. His age has to come into play as well; even though my previous statement could still be true for a 26 year old, it just FEELS like Bell’s value is less because he’s already 33.

      If I’m a GM with my eyes on contention in 2011 and an opening at CP, I give up 2 B/B- expendable (i.e. blocked at the major league level) prospects at most…my top guys are off limits though. Is this fair?

    • azdsnd 5 years ago

      If I’m a GM looking to acquire him, maybe a flier relief prospect in A-ball. A C/C- guy. Why the scant package? Because Bell is going to make $7MM+ in 2011, and once he leaves Petco and also sees some natural statistical regression, his 1.6% HR/FB will balloon and he’ll be a 1-1.5 win pitcher tops, which isn’t worth the $7MM he’s going to make.I consider acquiring him because I don’t have to deal with the free agent market (i.e. multiple years of commitment) and still get a guy who can close for a year, but he’s more of a 3-ERA pitcher in a neutral field. I don’t splurge for that guy if I also then have to pay him $7MM.

      • 42214221 5 years ago


      • Mario Saavedra 5 years ago

        lol. He’s such a gamer, and he’s been as clutch as possible when he’s pitched at important situations. It’s hard to argue that he doesn’t deserve a 3 year deal, and saying he doesn’t deserve the 7 mill he might get it’s just plain retarded. I hope the padre do give him an extension, and at 3 years, it’s hardly overpaying. Of course, it only makes sense if the padres are planning to compete and not sell.

        • azdsnd 5 years ago

          No, it’s not “retarded,” it’s realistic. Sorry, but if you don’t get how flukey a 1.6% HR/FB is you have no idea how to truly gauge Bell’s skills.

      • briankoke 5 years ago

        Something tells me that if you were a GM, you wouldn’t get many trades done. Opposing GM’s would have a good laugh though. Bell isn’t just a product of Petco. In fact, he was much better away than he was at home this year. He’s one of the best closers in all of baseball, and I’ll bet him only seeking a 3 year deal sounds good to a lot of GM’s out there.

        • azdsnd 5 years ago

          I’d be okay with that if it meant that I didn’t simply cough up money and prospects without receiving value for them.

          “In fact, he was much better away than he was at home this year.” – Fine, so he got lucky both at home AND on the road, excuse me. A 1.6% HR/FB is simply not sustainable. Bell didn’t make that happen, it was luck – and it’s not going to continue. Sorry for being a realist.

  5. Angels need bullpen help, San Diego will need a replacement for Adrian Gonzalez.

    how about Kendrick and Trumbo?

    • azdsnd 5 years ago

      Way, way, way, waaaaay too much IMO.

      • Yankees420 5 years ago

        Kendrick’s career line is .295/.327/.425 with an atrocious BB% of 3.8, and correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Salt Lake extremely hitter friendly? If so, that makes me less impressed with Trumbo’s numbers at AAA (although I get that a .945 OPS looks really nice) and I’m also concerned with the 126 K’s he had in 595 PA this year. Add in the Petco factor and I think the Padres would rather try to get someone with more proven power.

    • ze3 5 years ago

      Trumbo yes, maybe Izturis instead of Kendrick. I think a great trade could also be Jepsen and Izzy for Heath.

      • briankoke 5 years ago

        3+ million for Izturis each of the next 2 years. No thanks. The Padres need cheap young controllable players and they don’t need relievers. They need offense in the worst way!

    • briankoke 5 years ago

      The Padres already have a replacement for Gonzo. His name is Kyle Blanks.

  6. fnpadre 5 years ago

    Thanks Heath, it’s been fun.

  7. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    Wouldn’t Bell look good on the Nationals mound? I know you could say a rebuilding team doesn’t really need an expensive closer, but don’t you also want your rebuilding club to win as many games as they can? Don’t you want to protect your young rotation guys from possible no decisions, even allow them to get a few wins along the way?

    Where will he go? How about the White Sox-Jenks won’t be back, and as really good as Matt Thornton is, he misses a lot of time to injury. Bell is perfect for the Sox.

  8. what do you think about waiting until the deadline in june to trade him? even if the padres are in contention, many teams are desperate for an extra push for the playoffs & will give up a top guy for a reliever. ex-the twins gave up wilson ramos for matt capps.

  9. AceGunderson 5 years ago

    Uhhhhh….Joba, Ramiro Pena, and Drew Henson?

  10. 42214221 5 years ago

    Bell Timmy 4 Hughes gardner

  11. briankoke 5 years ago

    I’d do Bell for Gardner straight up.

  12. Keep dreaming Pads fans.

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