Heath Bell Discusses Possible Suitors

With the Padres growing less optimistic about retaining their All-Star closer, Heath Bell spoke to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune about where he may pitch in 2012.

My agents have told me numerous other teams are interested with most of those on the East Coast,” said Bell. "I told my guys that if there is any shot for San Diego, hold onto it. But I haven’t really heard anything from the Padres since they changed general managers. Right now, I have no idea what to expect…. But I think there’s going to be a three-year deal out there from someone. And that's what I’d like to have. I’d rather stay on the West Coast. But I still have a home in Florida."

Bell's representatives at ACES negotiated Jonathan Papelbon's deal with the Phillies and have a reputation for working quickly to get their clients signed. Bell indicated that he'd like to have a clearer idea about his future before he leaves for a vacation to Fiji on Thursday, and even suggested that he could end up on Papelbon's old club: "I’ve heard Boston might have interest in me. I could go play with Adrian [Gonzalez] again. I could do that."

During the season, Bell said that he'd accept an arbitration offer from the Padres, but he's less certain about that decision now.

"I have to weigh all my options," said Bell. "I don’t know what I’m going to do. But it seems like there are going to be some very good options soon. And after everything that has happened with the Padres, I don’t know what is going on."

45 Responses to Heath Bell Discusses Possible Suitors Leave a Reply

  1. Matt Talbert 4 years ago

    Health Bell? Health you mean?

  2. jubeininja69 4 years ago

    bell is anything but health-y.

  3. The Wii Fit comes to mind right about now.

  4. Cankersly 4 years ago

    At least this seems like good news for my Padres. Would be nice if he signed before the arb deadline so the Padres don’t have to risk him accepting arb.

  5. Beersy 4 years ago

    So I guess his agent has finally talked some sense into him, for no other reason than his agent wants his cut of 30 million, not 10.  I wonder what kind of deal KRod is looking for?  He would be a nice replacement at the back end of the bullpen.  You’d think you could probably get him on a 2 year deal and by then the Padres would hopefully have his hier apparent, possibly Quackenbush.

    • Cankersly 4 years ago

      I still like Brach as the heir apparent. Though Quackenbush put up some silly numbers in his brief time in the org. last year.

      I think the Padres should stay away from expensive Closers and just sign good middle relievers. Frank Francisco, Dotel (assuming he’s not offered arb), Wheeler, and Frasor are all good options in the 3-4M range. They should each be type B free agents after next year if they pitch like they should in 2012.

      • Beersy 4 years ago

        That’s the thing though, how expensive will KRod be?  With the issues he had in New York maybe the Padres could get him on the cheap.  If every other team fills their open closer roll, he might take a discount just to be a closer again.

        As fo rthe free agents you mentioned I could see Francisco or Fraser as good signings for the Padres, but not for the closers roll.  As for them being type B free agents next off season, I believe the league and the union ar etrying to put an end to comp picks for B`s and possibly A`s.

      • cyberboo 4 years ago

        If the new CBA is accurate, who cares if any player is a type B next year.  No compensation will be awarded for them, making signing them a one-year wonder.  Everyone will be hoping that the league will give type A status to 200 players.  lol. 

    • Amish_willy 4 years ago

      Yeah, no way K-Rod ends up in SD. My guess is he ends up signing for a good deal more then the figures the Padres supposedly offered Bell (2/16m), even if that means signing with a less attractive team.

      I think if Bell leaves we’ll see te club invest in one or two reclamation projects. I could see Brad Lidge being the teams closer a heck of a lot easier then I could K-Rod. No need for the 2012 Padres to be guaranteeing the kind of money it would take to sign K-Rod. Keep in mind this isn’t some endoresement on Lidge’s part, but his price range will be much more to the Padres liking. There are some pretty interesting arms that will be in line for a 1-year deal, and I’m sure lots of them would love to spend next year re-establishing themselves while calling SD home.

      • Ohhhplease 4 years ago

        I agree there is no way the Pads bring K-Rod into what was a questionable clubhouse last year (hence why they signed Kotsay today).  I do see someone like Broxton, Joe Nathan brought in to go with Brad Bracht and/or Quackenbush.

        I wonder if the Pads try to turn Bass into an 8th inning guy which turned out to be a blackhole of losses after Mike Adams departed.

  6. The Red Sox are a long shot.  I can’t see them giving up a first rounder and guaranteeing him three years at top dollar.  He named the Red Sox to drive up his market, but the guy clearly wants to stay on the West Coast if it’s close.  He’s been great, but leaving that ballpark and the NL West for Fenway could get ugly…at three years it would most likely be terrible.

    • The Red Sox could be a major player for his services if the Padres don’t offer him arbitration.  I don’t see them giving up a 1st rounder for him either.

      Bell had mentioned the possibility during the season about potentially playing with Adrian again in Boston.  He’s widely considered to be a good guy and a great clubhouse personality.  For a team that needs more positive presences in the clubhouse, he’s an ideal fit (as opposed to someone like K-Rod).

      • Matt 4 years ago

        The Sox are getting a first rounder because of losing Papelbon, so they actually might be a lot more willing to give up a first rounder now as well (give up 1 pick, but they get 2 more from Paps).
        And considering the new agreement between players and owners very well may change draft pick compensation, I don’t think losing a pick is going to be a big factor at all.

      • Ohhhplease 4 years ago

        The Padres will offer him arbitration, if they don’t and just let him walk, they don’t get a draft pick as compensation.  

        The point of the article is whether or not Bell accepts arbitration. 

        • Bell has been very clear that he WILL accept arbitration if offered.

          • Cankersly 4 years ago

            Less clear lately though. I think his agent is talking some sense into him.

          • The decision has to be made on Dec 8th. If there is no clear 3 year $30++ million deal on the table then Bell will simply accept arbitration which will net him $12-13 million for one season in the town he wants to live in.

          • Ohhhplease 4 years ago

            I suppose you didn’t read the article before making this statement….why not another baseless claim of who the Padres are “deep in talks with” post….

          • That’s what he said. Will he do that? I highly doubt it. He WANTS a three-year deal. Given the FA reliever market, he can easily get what he wants. It’s called posturing.

          • padresfuture 4 years ago

            I have said it before and I will say it again… all posturing. The only way he accepts arb is if he is not offered a solid 3 year contract by a team he is ok playing for. It just doesn’t make sense to risk losing out on that much gauranteed money to stay with a team that is not realistically expected to compete for a World Series anytime soon. Still a possibility that he is just using these other teams as leverage to get the Padres to pony up some more dough, but I don’t think the Padres would have any interest in a bidding war.

    • Bell’s agent has already spoken with Boston. Its a possibility now that they have lost Papelbon. They have shown they are quite willing to give up a draft pick to get a top guy.

  7. Tyler Jedrzejak 4 years ago

    I know that the Marlins have offered a contract to everyone but saying Madison doesn’t go there could they not make an effort for him? I know he wants to stay on the West Coast but you never know

  8. garylanglais 4 years ago

    Not crazy to think Red Sox could offer 2yr/$28m with club option for 3rd year but with a high buyout of the option…

    • commenter3346 4 years ago

      Why would they give him $14M per year when Papelbon was given $12.5M per year? Makes no sense since Papelbon is a lot better than him.

      • Who has more saves the past 3 years (the time Bell has been a closer)?
        Who has a better save percentage?
        Who has a better FIP, xFIP and advanced PARK INDEPENDENT metrics?

        Sorry, Papelbon is younger but has not been a better closer than Bell.

      • Papelbon is definitely not better the Bell.

      • garylanglais 4 years ago

        The Red Sox would’ve given Pap the same AAV for 2 years and maybe even a bit more.  The point with this deal is while yes the AAV is high, the TOTAL VALUE of the contract is low making it much more sensible for the Red Sox.

  9. towney007 4 years ago

    I see no reason for the Red Sox to sign him when they.. um… already have him in Daniel Bard who posted nearly identical statistics over the last 3 years and in a way less-pitcher friendly park.

    • Matt 4 years ago

      No reason?  How about to make the team better.  That is a pretty good reason right there.

    • Tyler Jedrzejak 4 years ago

      they said they arent yet comfortable with Bard closing. not to mention he hasnt been in nearly as many closing situations as bell, hes been a set-up guy. so a jump from set up to full time closer could post some pretty bad numbers if he isnt ready.

    • soxfan0928 4 years ago

      Because if you make Bard the closer, you don’t have a set up man. Don’t count Jenks, he’s good at setting up a late inning loss, but that’s it.  If you get Bell for something like 3/30 or 3/36, you get an elite closer who can replicate (or get close to replicating) Papelbon’s success, and you still have Bard who can come in and get you out of jams in the 7th and 8th innings because he’s a strikeout pitcher. If you move Aceves to the 8th inning, he doesn’t have the ability to come in and whiff 3 guys in a row and get you out of a bases loaded, no out jam like Bard has done so many times.

  10. marinest21 4 years ago

    Anyone who is gonna use the Petco pitcher friendly ballpark argument as a reason to not sign him should look at the splits first…..

    • Its still NL vs AL East though, every pitcher struggles to cope with that switch.

      • soxfan0928 4 years ago

        And it’s going from laid back San Diego to high pressure Boston. By no means am I saying that Bell can’t handle Boston, just saying it’s something else that needs to be considered.  Lackey couldn’t handle it. Gonzalez thrived in it. It’s different for every player.

  11. johnnycomelately9 4 years ago

    Idiots always say AL is tougher, but a lot of AL pitchers do worst in the NL.  The biggest difference is the DH; but people always fail to realize it’s impact on pitching numbers.  In fantasy NL pitchers have the downside of getting pulled late when its their turn to bat; but they get the comfort of those easier outs.

    • soxfan0928 4 years ago

      It’s really a bigger difference than you’re making it out to be.  Having to face David Ortiz 2-3x per game vs having to face Chris Capuano 2-3x per game makes a huge difference, not only in that individual AB, but also in the AB of the #8 hitter in the NL. If a pitcher is in a jam with 2 outs, just walk the #8 hitter, get to the pitcher. In the AL East, you’ve got #8 and 9 hitters that hit .270. The Sox #9 hitter hit .299 (Scutaro). It’s a big, big difference. No breather for the SP.

  12. VivaJackMurphy 4 years ago

    “I’ve heard Boston might have interest in me. I could go play with Adrian [Gonzalez] again.”

    Just kill me now. 

  13. The same people who were complaining that Heath Bell was going to make the largest amount of percentage of the Padres payroll next year, (hoping he signs elsewhere because he’s too pricey) will be the same ones to complain he’s not in San Diego when he signs with another team.

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