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The Blue Jays are interested in Heath Bell for some reason

Jul 21, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Heath Bell

Pop quiz, hot shot! You’re eleven games back in the AL East with practically no hope whatsoever of contending. The trade deadline is approaching. What do you do? Tell me! What. Do. You. Do?

Well, if you’re the Blue Jays you inquire about the best closer currently available.  At least that’s what Ken Rosenthal says that the Jays are doing, calling on the Padres about Heath Bell.

It makes little sense, though Rosenthal says that they’re looking at him long term rather than just as a rental, and that having him in-house as the season ends would give them a leg up in negotiations.  Maybe — I have no idea how Bell’s bread is buttered and maybe he likes to stay in places where he’s comfy — but it seems odd that they’s want to give up anything of value for him under such risky circumstances.

And even if it were simply fishing for draft pick compensation following an arbitration offer this fall, it strikes me that whatever they’d have to give up for him would largely offset the value of those picks, so why bother?

  1. southpaw2k - Jul 21, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    Didn’t Bell make a comment recently that he was applying for a U.S. passport in case he was traded to an AL team? Granted, that statement could apply to any team who has to travel to Toronto to play, and not specifically the Blue Jays themselves. The Blue Jays could be wasting young talent if they only end up renting him for a couple months before he hits the free agent market.

    • dodger88 - Jul 21, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      It was Mike Adams who made the passport comment.

      • southpaw2k - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:04 AM

        Derp. Thanks!

  2. b7p19 - Jul 21, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    I am 100% behind the Blue Jays trading for Bell. They should part ways with their top SS prospect and a ML ready pitcher. – Padres Fan

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 21, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    +1 for the Speed reference.

    • foreverchipper10 - Jul 21, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      Shoot the hostage.

  4. Mark - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    The only way this deal makes sense is if AA uses his Jedi mind tricks to convince the Padres to give up Heath Bell for Aaron Hill. Otherwise I’m not really sure why they’re interested.

  5. dodger88 - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    If the Jays place greater value on the two draft picks compared to what they would have to give the Padres, then by all means make the deal. I can’t see them paying the price he’ll seek as a free agent and he may not want to sign with Toronto regardless so this would almost certainly be a rental for picks.

  6. dan1111 - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Acquiring him for the draft pick compensation isn’t obviously dumb. A first round pick is pretty valuable. It would all depend on who they have to give up. My guess is, this is what they have in mind. But they can’t exactly say, “welcome to the team, Heath, we don’t really want you, and we sure are going to enjoy it when you leave.” So they have to make up another story.

    Trading for him just get the first shot at signing him to a long-term contract seems questionable–actually, forget the trading, just the long-term contract by itself is iffy. Bell has been great for five years, but playing in the best pitchers’ park in baseball. He will be 34 at the beginning of his next contract.

    • Joe - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:39 AM

      Aren’t the Padres looking for good prospects in return for Bell? So, is it worth it to give up a couple of your better prospects in hopes that your compensation picks work out for you? Maybe if your system sucks, and I don’t know much about Toront’s system.

      It’s not like the Blue Jays would be the only team interested in Bell. They aren’t going to get him with a lowball offer.

      • dan1111 - Jul 21, 2011 at 11:06 AM

        Will the Padres get two good prospects in return for a half season of a reliever? I suppose maybe, but it seems a little high to me.

        I guess what works against the Jays, though, is that Bell would be worth more to other teams. A team that is in the race could get value out of him this season AND still get the draft picks. So, you’re probably right. Someone else will offer more.

      • jaysfan12 - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:04 PM

        The Jays system is top 5 in baseball and will likely be 1 or 2 by 2012. The Jays have no room for Cooper and others that are MLB ready. If the Jays are really in on Bell it could be a 3 team trade where AA flips Bell to another team. Hopefully to the Cards for Rasmus.

    • FC - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:50 AM

      Well actually according to the ESPN MLB Park Factors, AT&T Park is actually the best pitchers park, with its .726 runs ratio in favor of the pitcher. I find it funny that CBP, often derided as a hitters park actually has favorable pitcher ratios in every category except walks…. that caught my attention… how the heck can walks be a park factor?

  7. cur68 - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Bell would fill a glaring empty spot for the BeaverBoys. Basically they have Patterson, Davis, Dotel and/or Frank Francisco to offer back plus a first round pick. That might be attractive enough.

    Davis and the pick are the only real losses to the Jays. His speed is a tremendous asset and he’s shown signs of shortening his swing and getting on base behind hits. Tempting also are his top 5 stolen base numbers which also make him hard to give up. A Jay’s catching prospect then instead of Davis might be a better fit, but it seems nutty to give up a catching prospect for a 34 year old chubby pitcher. To bad his name wasn’t Sabbathia. That’d be money right there, if it was.

    Signing Bell will be tricky (so much depends on Bell’s sate of mind about Toronto) but a 2 – 3 year deal with options might be do-able. The Jays have room to move what with the millstones of Wells & Rios sent to hang around the necks of others.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 21, 2011 at 11:06 AM

      Unfortunately draft picks can’t be traded. The prime ML ready trade bait that the Jays have is former first round pick David Cooper. He is hitting .378 in Triple A and has a 1.03 OPS.Giving him up for a rental is a bit much unless there is something else involved in a trade such as Hill’s contract.

      • cur68 - Jul 21, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        I notice Hill’s not in the game today. Hmmm…maybe Heath Bell is on the way after all….

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 21, 2011 at 2:35 PM

        all the draft picks in the world will not help the bluejays, their days are numbered and will soon be joining the expos

      • cur68 - Jul 21, 2011 at 5:13 PM

        Wow ‘harry. Up early in the day, eh? Don’t usually have to smell you till after 6pm. Wassup? Had to see the old parole officer today about the why your ankle bracelet was saying you were too near certain places again?

  8. FC - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    Such a trade would only make sense if Bell can be extended long term. They have save conversion ratio of 57% ranked 28th in MLB, the Orioles rank as 29th, number 30th is (you guessed it) the Astros… If they had a much better conversion rate they would likely not be 11.5 games back, maybe 4.5. Still the Jays need more building blocks to be a contender. That offense is good but it’s inconsistent. Starting rotation is good but again consistency… Bullpen… disaster area…

  9. bjavie - Jul 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    I love it! It’s like when you are out of it towards the end of the fantasy season so you sntach up all the avaialble guys so no one else can!!

  10. accfanto - Jul 21, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    The Jays are a low payroll team talking about spending much more in future, and not a lot of teams can say that.

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