Heath Bell Rumors
Reliever Heath Bell has switched agents, moving from ACES to Dan Lozano's MVP Sports Group, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. As Crasnick notes (also on Twitter), Bell's former agency seems to have done well in securing the three-year, $27MM contract that Bell signed with the Marlins before the 2012 season.
After signing that deal, of course, Bell (along with much of the rest of the Marlins team) fell well short of expectations. Expected to be Miami's closer, Bell only managed to notch 19 saves. Even worse, in the 63 2/3 innings he threw, he posted a 5.09 ERA. Bell's performance lagged in 2012 as his walk rate skyrocketed to a career-worse 4.1 BB/9, to go with just 8.3 K/9.
Bell's current deal does not expire until after the 2014 season. The Diamondbacks possess an option for the 2015 season, but seem very unlikely to exercise it.
The Diamondbacks announced that they have acquired Heath Bell, infielder Cliff Pennington, and cash considerations from the Marlins in a three-team deal with the Athletics. Miami will receive minor league infielder Yordy Cabrera from the A's and Oakland will get outfielder Chris Young and $500K from Arizona.
The Marlins will be picking up $8MM of the remaining $21MM owed to Bell over the next two years, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel (via Twitter). The veteran was unhappy in Miami as the club was unwilling to restore him as closer and found himself clashing with manager Ozzie Guillen at points during the year.
The 35-year-old struggled in his first and only year with the Marlins, posting a 5.09 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 73 appearances. The new-look Marlins signed Bell in December of last year as a part of their spending spree, giving the reliever a three-year, $27MM deal. The contract includes a vesting option for the 2015 season which will guarantee him $9MM with 55 games finished in 2014 or 100 games finished in 2013-14.
Pennington has been a member of the A's since being tabbed with the 21st overall pick in the 2005 draft. The 28-year-old was slotted at shortstop until the acquisition of Stephen Drew bumped him over to second base. For his career, Pennington owns a .249/.313/.356 batting line across parts of five seasons in Oakland.
Young, 29, is set to make $8.5MM in 2013 with an $11MM club option for the 2014 season that comes with a modest $1.5MM buyout. The centerfielder has been unable to regain his All-Star form of 2010 and posted a .231/.311/.434 slash line with 14 homers last season. Young played in just 101 games last season, due in large part to a shoulder injury he suffered when he slammed into a wall in early April. The outfielder now reunited with skipper Bob Melvin, who he developed a bond with during his time in Arizona.
While the Marlins' main reward in the deal is being freed from the bulk of the money owed to Bell over the next two years, they also pick up a former second-round pick in Cabrera. The 22-year-old, who played high school baseball four hours north of Miami in Lakeland, Florida, made the move to Class-A Advanced in 2012. Cabrera hit .232/.293/.332 with three homers in 60 games last season.
Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic (via Twitter) first reported that Arizona would send $500K to Oakland in the deal.
Everyone’s talking about Alex Rodriguez these days, but some of the chatter out there can be misleading. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney works his way through some popular theories involving the slumping Yankees slugger, separating myth from reality. Here are Olney’s latest notes...
- The Yankees will probably talk to the Marlins about a deal involving Rodriguez “just to get rid of an outdated superstar,” Olney writes. Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell could end up going from Miami to New York if the sides complete a trade. The Yankees and Marlins have had preliminary talks about a possible deal.
- Olney suggests it’d be a clear sign that the Blue Jays don’t view John Farrell as their manager of the future if they’re willing to discuss sending him to the Red Sox. If the Blue Jays aren’t convinced Farrell is their man, they should complete a deal without haggling too much, Olney writes. The Red Sox have begun compensation talks with Toronto, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported yesterday.
- Brad Ausmus, a candidate for the managerial opening in Boston, did well in his interview, Olney reports.
Marlins right-hander Heath Bell told Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin on MLB Network Radio that he made a poor choice of words yesterday when he implied he doesn't respect Miami manager Ozzie Guillen. Bell said he does respect Guillen, but repeated that he doesn't like hearing things through the media. Here are some more notes on managers and managerial openings from around MLB...
- The Rockies and Jim Tracy could agree to a role change for Tracy within the organization, leaving the team free to hire a new manager, opines Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Tracy's "handshake deal" with Colorado only guarantees him the manager's job through 2013, Renck notes.
- The White Sox and Cardinals' decisions to hire inexperienced managers Mike Matheny and Robin Ventura has thus far paid off for both teams, writes Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Astros owner Jim Crane says his team has narrowed its search for a manager down to three or four candidates and they hope to have their new field boss in place within a week, reports MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. An announcement could come later than that if the new manager is currently working for a team going to the playoffs. Tony DeFrancesco, Tim Bogar, Dave Martinez and Bo Porter appear to be the final field of candidates.
- While Brad Ausmus is open to interviewing for managerial positions this offseason, he has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Astros’ position, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Ausmus, now a special assistant with the Padres, had interviewed for Houston’s managerial opening.
- Nothing has been decided regarding the future of Indians manager Manny Acta because the organization must first decide on the future of general manager Chris Antonetti, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. CEO Paul Dolan and President Mark Shapiro are expected to decide on the future of Antonetti, Hoynes writes.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post
The Braves' magic number for clinching a playoff spot is one, so they can punch their postseason ticket with either a win tonight over the Marlins, or if the Dodgers and Brewers both lose their respective games this evening. Atlanta sits five games behind Washington for first place in the NL East, so barring a major collapse from the Nationals, the Braves will have to settle for a wild card, though they're on pace to earn homefield advantage in the wild card game.
Here's the latest from around the division...
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo wants Davey Johnson to return as the club's manager next season and said the two sides have had "initial discussions" about the subject, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. "We both feel comfortable where we are at in that process," Rizzo said. "I said it before, Davey is part of the furniture as long as Mike Rizzo is general manager of the team. I definitely want him back for '13." Johnson is under contract only as a team consultant for 2013 and the veteran skipper recently said that he was satisfied with current talks and would address his position after the season.
- Marlins reliever Heath Bell spoke to reporters (including Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post) about his recent comments about manager Ozzie Guillen, saying his remarks were "totally taken out of context." Bell said he had to "earn the respect back of my teammates [and] my coaching staff" and that he wanted to keep pitching in Miami.
- Guillen, meanwhile, told reporters (as per Capozzi's Twitter account) that several Marlins players called and texted their support for him in the aftermath of Bell's comments.
- Though Domonic Brown and John Mayberry have played well for the Phillies down the stretch, there's no guarantee either will have a starting role in 2013, Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News.
The Marlins spent approximately $95MM to field this year’s team, but they’re expected to lower payroll and spend $70-80MM next year. Here's the latest from their division, starting with one of the team's prominent free agent acquisitions...
- Marlins right-hander Heath Bell criticized manager Ozzie Guillen in an interview on 560 WQAM in Miami this afternoon. Bell said on the Dan Sileo Show that "it's hard to respect a guy that doesn't tell you the truth or doesn't tell you face to face" (audio here & transcript via ESPN.com). Bell lost the closer's job earlier in the year and Steve Cishek is now closing for the Marlins. For all the latest closer-related fantasy updates, follow @closernews on Twitter.
- The Phillies will be looking for help in the outfield and one or more veteran relievers this offseason, but there’s also a chance they’ll look to add a starting pitcher, Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. The Phillies’ interest in adding starting pitching will presumably depend on a variety of factors, such as their trust in Kyle Kendrick.
MLBTR extends its best wishes to Michael Weiner, who is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. The executive director of the Players Association expects the treatment to last about one month, according to an MLBPA press release. Here are today's links...
- Roger Clemens told reporters he’s “nowhere near” the shape he’d have to be in to pitch at the MLB level, Alyson Footer of MLB.com reports (Twitter link). The seven-time Cy Young Award winner signed a contract with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters and will pitch on Saturday. One rival executive speculated that the Astros could be a fit for Clemens, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The exec pointed out that Clemens has a good relationship with Astros owner Jim Crane.
- It’s unlikely but not impossible that the Giants will trade for Heath Bell this season, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). Bell would have to be placed on waivers for the Giants and Marlins to complete a trade. Approximately $19MM remains on Bell's contract, so it seems likely that he'd clear waivers.
- GM Kenny Williams built the AL Central-leading White Sox, but he doesn't expect to be named MLB's executive of the year, Toni Ginnetti the Chicago Sun-Times reports. "If you don't win it when you win a World Series, you ain't going to win it,'' Williams said.
The Braves became the latest team to beat the struggling Astros tonight, winning a 4-1 result on the back of 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball from Tim Hudson. With the Braves' win and the Nationals' split of a double-header with the Marlins today, Washington is only two games up on Atlanta in the NL East. Here's the latest from around the division...
- With the Phillies looking to keep payroll under the luxury tax threshold, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News looked at Reed Johnson, Jonny Gomes and Scott Hairston as right-handed hitting free agents who could be paired with lefty bat Nate Schierholtz for a productive outfield platoon that would come at a much cheaper cost than what the Phillies would have paid Hunter Pence in 2013.
- The Nationals don't see new catcher Kurt Suzuki as a "rental," GM Mike Rizzo told reporters (including CSN Washington's Mark Zuckerman). Suzuki is under contract through 2013 and the Nats plan to keep him along with regular catcher Wilson Ramos, who will be recovered from a torn ACL suffered in May.
- Fangraphs' Eric Seidman looks at how a Jason Bay for Heath Bell/John Buck trade would benefit both the Marlins and Mets in terms of salary relief and filling lineup holes. The two clubs had some discussions before the trade deadline about such a deal, though talks went nowhere at the time.
The Mets and Marlins discussed a change-of-scenery trade that would have sent Jason Bay to Miami for Heath Bell and John Buck, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. A deal was never close, though the contracts and the money matched up well. Bell is signed through 2014, Bay and Buck through 2013. Rosenthal notes that all three players are likely to clear waivers this month, so the two sides could revisit the deal. Here are the rest of his rumors...
- The Astros are paying virtually all of the $9MM left on Carlos Lee's contract, but one club that spoke to the Marlins said Miami wanted as much as $2.5MM in return for the slugger. Talks never progressed.
- The Orioles spoke to the Mariners about Kevin Millwood, but Seattle wanted a better return than what was offered given the right-hander's bargain $1MM salary.
- The Orioles also discussed a deal with the Royals that would have sent one of their young arms to Kansas City for Luke Hochevar and Jonathan Broxton. Rosenthal speculates that it may have been Jake Arrieta.
- The Brewers were close to trading Francisco Rodriguez to the Giants about a week before the deadline, but San Francisco backed off after the right-hander blew two saves and allowed six runs in Philadelphia last week.
Here's the latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark...
- One official who spoke with the Marlins brass estimates that the odds Josh Johnson remains with Miami are "95 percent." The Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, White Sox, Blue Jays, and Royals have all checked in.
- Carlos Lee, Ricky Nolasco, Heath Bell, and Gaby Sanchez are all very available. Other than Johnson, Giancarlo Stanton will be the toughest player to pry away from the Fish.
- The Phillies have talked about trading Cliff Lee following the Cole Hamels extension and they haven't discouraged other teams from inquiring, but their game plan right now is to keep their trio of aces intact.
- Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton are good bets to be dealt and the Phillies will listen on Hunter Pence. They want multiple young big leaguers to plug holes at third base, in the outfield, and in the bullpen in return.
- The Dodgers are in on a number of starting pitchers, including Nolasco, Blanton, Kevin Millwood, and Jason Vargas in addition to Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. They've also checked in on outfield and first base help, including Victorino and Justin Morneau.
- Clubs have not been assured by the Cubs that Garza will make another start before the trade deadline due to his triceps issue. He's more likely to be dealt in the offseason.
- In the wake of acquiring Wandy Rodriguez, the Pirates are sending signals that they could trade away a starter like Jeff Karstens or Kevin Correia.
- The Twins' asking prices for Morneau ("pricey"), Denard Span ("more pricey"), and Josh Willingham ("it made me laugh") are high. Minnesota insists they will listen on anyone and Stark says Morneau is the bat they're most likely to move. Francisco Liriano is "nearly 100 percent" likely to be traded.
- The Orioles continue to look for pitching, someone they consider a number three starter or better. Garza and Vargas have their eye but Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado are off the table. They've gotten hits on Jake Arrieta but won't move him unless they get a similar young arm with several years of team control remaining in return.
- The Brewers will trade Randy Wolf "for nothing if you take the money," according to one official.
- The Rays have "got a big market" for Wade Davis.