Padres, Bell Will Discuss Multiyear Deal

Heath Bell is surprised to still be a Padre, according to's Corey Brock, but he's also very happy about it. Bell told Brock that he loves San Diego and that his agents, Sam and Seth Levinson of ACES, will discuss a multiyear extension with the Padres this Spring:

"My understanding is that [talks are] going to blossom during Spring Training. I'm not going to worry about it. My agents will come here in March and they'll talk then. I like that we are going to talk. If we can get it done, great. If not, OK. But at least we are trying."

Bell, 33, earned a $3.5MM raise through arbitration, pushing his salary up to $7.5MM — the highest salary of any Padres player. He's expressed his desire to stay in San Diego on a long-term deal multiple times this offseason, and the Padres would probably love to continue to have Bell finish games for them.

Since becoming the Padres' closer after Trevor Hoffman's departure, Bell owns a 2.32 ERA through 139 2/3 innings with a 10.6 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. His 89 saves over the past two years are the most in baseball.

A multiyear deal for Bell right now would likely be beneficial to him, as he'll have plenty of competition on the free agent market following this season. Bell is currently set to join Jonathan Broxton, Jonathan Papelbon, and Matt Capps, while Francisco Rodriguez, Joe Nathan, Brad Lidge, Rafael Soriano, and others could hit free agency as well, depending on their contractual options.

Bell says he understands that changing teams is the nature of the business, but doesn't want to move from the players and coaches he now considers his family. His biggest problem may be San Diego's payroll. With payroll under $45MM, it may be financially difficult to retain Bell at even a below-market rate in the long term, as MLBTR's Zach Links discussed earlier this offseason.

From the Padres' side of things, Bell is ranked as a Type A free agent. Barring some form of disaster, the Padres would collect two draft picks if they offer him arbitration and he departs to another club.

25 Responses to Padres, Bell Will Discuss Multiyear Deal Leave a Reply

  1. Mario Saavedra 4 years ago

    I really hope sometimes gets worked out here; Unlike most people think, I really doubt Bell will have much trade value at the deadline and 2 draft picks are overrated, especially since the padres are so bad at drafting. Maybe a 2 year 19- 21MM extension with an option and a limited no trade clause will be enough to entice Bell.

    • Beersy 4 years ago

      The Padres were bad at drafting because the old owner wouldn’t allocate the proper funds. Moorad seems very willing to throw money into the draft and with the success that Hoyer and McLeod had in their time with Boston hopefully things will change. As for Bell, he should have great trade value. The Nats got the Twins #2 prospect last year, Wilson Ramos, for Matt Capps. Capps is decent, but not comparable to Bell. If the Padres fall out of the race and a another team thinks they have a shot and need some bullpen help, Hoyer should be able to get quite the haul for Bell.

      • Sniderlover 4 years ago

        Worth noting Capps was under control for another year.

        • Sd_brain 4 years ago

          bell is a type-a free agent, so if he were to be traded that still holds value as well (not as much but still).

        • Beersy 4 years ago

          I’m thinking the Twins probably wish Capps wasn’t under control for another year. He’s going to earn over 7 mil this year as a setup man and with the Twins always worrying about payroll his deal certainly won’t help matters.

      • Mario Saavedra 4 years ago

        Well, last year wasn’t the best start for the new ownership. Most notably, they failed to sign their 1st rounder.

        • Sd_brain 4 years ago

          The Padres ownership really can’t be blamed for failing to sign Whitson, the kid basically was all about the money.

          • AirmanSD 4 years ago

            Not to mention the fact that he reported to fall ball at Florida and was tired after the first workout, and commented that it was harder then he was expecting. He has a world of talent, but they maybe were better off getting an extra pick in this draft, especially the 10th overall pick.

  2. Beersy 4 years ago

    It will be quite interesting to see how this plays out. If Bell really does want to stay in San Diego he is going to have to take below, probably well below, market money. He seems like he is quite genuine when he says he’d like to stay, but when the money starts being talked about things can change quickly.

    If he were to become a free agent, I don’t think he would have any problems getting another gig even with all of the other closer candidates that will be out there. Out of all of the others he is the only one who hasn’t had some kind of problem the last 4 years, injury or ineffectiveness.

    I’m actually quite shocked that the Angels haven’t been all over Bell with their closer situation. With them having 3 center fielders right now and Trout on the way, a guy like Peter Bourjos would probably interest the Padres. A deal of Bell and Ludwick, who I just don’t see fitting in at Petco but could easily play a corner in Anaheim, for Bourjos, Conger and another decent prospect would be pretty fair I would think. If the Padres fall out of the race at all, the sooner they can deal Bell the better. Hoyer didn’t want draft picks for Gonzalez and I would be shocked if he didn’t want prospects for Bell as well.

    • dc21892 4 years ago

      It’s not shocking that the Angels haven’t been all over Bell. They signed a reliever for 5M a year and one for 4M a year

      • Beersy 4 years ago

        I really hope that you are not comparing Downs and Takahashi to Bell. Just because you over pay for relievers doesn’t mean they are any good. There are only 2 or 3 bullpens in the whole league that wouldn’t benefit from adding Bell.

        • dc21892 4 years ago

          I’m not comparing them at all. I’m saying they have a very expensive bullpen with Rodney also. Along with just adding Vernon Wells, they still have a big payroll. It’s not as clear as you’re seeing it.

          • Beersy 4 years ago

            I thought the 1st move the Angels should have made this offseason was to acquire Bell. If they had gotten Bell from the Padres I’m sure that all these other moves wouldn’t have happened. I’m not saying all the moves wouldn’t have happened, but getting Bell and Wells for instance, would have been a very good offseason. As far as I can tell the Angels still don’t know who their closer will be.

  3. RATTY1 4 years ago

    Sign him long term….2 ways to go on this: 1. Pads will always be a pitching driven team and He will be a continued asset to a Pitching Driven team + be a Mr. Padre like Hoffman & Gwynn OR 2. Pads will get much more in return in prospects with a couple years on his Contract….The only down side would be injury…he knows how to pitch.. I would not be to concerned about his ability.

    • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 4 years ago

      You nailed it! I guy like Bell is certainly worth a keeping around on a not too long not too crazy contract. Just don’t give him a no trade clause.

      To think that the Mets virtually gave him away because they felt he was too loud and too fat. They paid such close attention to his flaws that they failed to notice the guy could pitch.

      • RATTY1 4 years ago

        I agree don’t give a no trade clause…He has Pet Rats ..that may have been a Met problem as Well..LOL….More Power to the Pet Rat Lovers+++

  4. padreshobo 4 years ago

    I love Bell, but I can’t see how the Padres can keep him unless he takes a well below market deal. Just don’t think you can pay a closer that much if you are the Padres, especially with Adams and Gregerson behind.

  5. I think Bell would definitely take the SD discount. The only question is if the Padres feel comfortable even doing that when they’ve been able to produce so many quality relievers. I know the 9th is different, but Gregerson, Adams, and heck even Frieri are all guys with closer stuff

    • Mario Saavedra 4 years ago

      I don’t think Adams is closer material, he seems t be very frail. Gregerson, well he needs to prove he can adjust to hitters, just like hitters adjusted to him late in 2010. As far as I can tell, Towers was the one that had success building a bullpen out of nowhere, Hoyer should be careful when dismantling the bullpen.

      • I agree that the bullpen building was done on Towers’ watch, but I know I trust our coaching staff, who seem to get a lot out of guys who didn’t succeed elsewhere. I don’t know if there’s a better staff than Buddy, Balsley, and Akerfelds. Three great pitching coaches right there.

        • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 4 years ago

          Yep, Towers has a fine reputation for building a bullpen on the cheap. But those pitchers also got their act together on the field under the tutelage of Black and Balsley.

          It’s a mindset of the Padres organization-you can find all kinds of useful relievers, especially ones no one else sees the possibility in. I don’t see that changing in San Diego. It’s part of how they do business.

  6. Guest 4 years ago

    Giving a relief pitcher a multi-year contract is NOT feasable with the economics like they are in San Diego. It is a high risk for ball clubs to do that could happen to a pitcher:

    *Pitcher may suffer a career anding injury, and the club is obligated to pay him during the longevity of the contract.

    *Cost $$$ of the contract increases annually if incentives are involved.

    *It will take a long time for a pitcher for him to return to pitching up to MLB standars.

  7. Guest 4 years ago


  8. Investing in a pitcher who’s trading value is on a DECLINE is not FEASABLE BUSINESS!!

  9. If the team isn’t able to signing to a muti-year deal, sign him to a 2 year deal & an option with performing incentives!!!

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