12:55pm: The Blue Jays are pursuing Bell, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Marlins and one other club are also involved. One executive of a team interested in Bell told Joel Sherman of the New York Post that the Blue Jays seem to be the favorites for the closer, whose heart may remain in San Diego (Twitter link).
THURSDAY, 11:00am: The Marlins are making a serious run at Bell, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. They have strong interest in the right-hander, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). Two other teams are in on Bell, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
WEDNESDAY, 11:55pm: Bell wrote on his personal Twitter account that there's nothing going on: "The most exciting thing that happened today..put up my Christmas lights. No news people."
11:34pm: Bell told MLB.com's Corey Brock that he hasn't heard from his agent about a deal (Twitter link).
11:07pm: Heath Bell is nearing a deal with an unknown team, according to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN.com (Twitter link). It will not cost a draft pick to sign Bell, a Type A free agent, even though the Padres offered him arbitration last week. San Diego would obtain two top 2012 draft picks if Bell signs elsewhere.
Bell posted a 2.44 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 62 2/3 innings this past season. The Angels and Red Sox are interested in the 34-year-old ACES client, who would prefer to remain on the West Coast. The Blue Jays, Mets, Reds and Marlins may also sign closers this offseason. The Padres offered Bell a two-year deal, but don't appear to be optimistic about their chances of retaining him. CloserNews.com has the latest fantasy baseball-related updates on relief pitchers.