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Heath Bell, Carlos Pena and Jim Thome all go on trade waivers

Aug 22, 2011, 4:35 PM EDT

Heath Bell Reuters

From’s Ken Rosenthal comes the news that the Padres’ Heath Bell, the Cubs’ Carlos Pena and the Twins’ Jim Thome and Jason Kubel were all placed on trade waivers Monday.

They’ll all be on waivers — but still eligible to play — through Wednesday.  If they clear waivers, they can be dealt at any point over the rest of the season, though to be eligible for the postseason, they’d have to be on their new rosters prior to Sept. 1.

Anyone not clearing waivers can either be pulled back or traded to the team with the highest priority that claims him.

Bell, Thome and Kubel are almost certain to get claimed on waivers.  Even a non-contender might try to pick up Bell or Kubel, simply for the fact that it’d be worth taking on about $1 million in salary in an effort to get back draft-pick compensation this winter.  All four players are going to become free agents after the season.

Since Pena makes the most money of the bunch and there isn’t a whole lot of need at first base among contenders, he might slip through waivers.

The Indians would be the obvious choice to grab Thome, especially after Travis Hafner got hurt Sunday.  Besides the White Sox, the Indians have the worst record of any AL contender.  Since these are trade waivers, leaguemates have priority for putting in claims.  Thome, though, does have no-trade protection and could block either a deal or a waiver claim.

Bell appears highly unlikely to be traded.  Any NL team, from the Astros and Cubs on up, could put in a claim just with the idea that he’d be worth it for the draft picks, and the Padres value those draft picks pretty highly themselves.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 22, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    “Thome, though, does have no-trade protection and could block either a deal or a waiver claim.”

    And if he does that, I believe if the Twins want, they can let him go for nothing and he would be able to sign with whoever he wants, losing only the $500,000 he was due for the rest of the season. Is this correct?

    • vicksprman - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:21 PM

      @Chris if this happens hello Philadelphia.

    • tjv027 - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:49 AM

      I thought the Twins have to pay him through the rest of the season?

      • tjv027 - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:55 AM

        Nevermind, I didn’t realize invoking your no trade clause means you can end up forfeiting your remaining salary.

  2. FC - Aug 22, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    Thome controls his future. With his no trade clause he can go anywhere he wants for the rest of the season if he dumps his salary after vetoing a trade, he would forfeit what? 500k? That’s pennies compared to what he’s earned over the years. The only reason Minnesota didn’t deal him at the deadline was to see him hit #600 HR in a Twins Uniform, but it was bittersweet because he hit it on the road! Now that that’s over with they’re willing to give him a shot at a contender.

    Any team wanting to claim Thome would do best in giving him a call first to see if he would be amenable to a trade…

    • felser - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      calling Thome ahead of a waiver claim would be considered blatant tampering.

  3. halladaysbiceps - Aug 22, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    I don’t know about this. I want to believe it, but this is being reported by Midget Rosenthal. You can never believe anything that comes out of this gnome’s mouth.

    • kopy - Aug 22, 2011 at 4:52 PM

      There are many-a-Minnesota reporter stating Thome and Kubel were both put on waivers.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 22, 2011 at 4:59 PM

        That’s where he probably got his news, then, because almost everything that Rosenthal reports is always wrong. I know this from reading his crap over the last few years. That’s why Fox put him on the sidelines for their Saturday games. I think they felt sorry for him, and especially since he’s only about 3’6″, he wouldn’t get in anyone’s way.

      • trevorb06 - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:09 PM

        The old ‘cepts is showing again. Dr. Jeckyl you must gain control here.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:15 PM


        LOL!!!! No, seriously, Rosenthal is a rather little person, midget, whatever you want to call him. And he usually is wrong from a national perspective on the things he reports on. I just call it how I see it. He should be lucky that he has a job with Fox. He couldn’t light a candle to guys like Heyman, Stark, Verducci, etc. Those guys are in the know.

      • trevorb06 - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:46 PM

        Rosenthal > Heyman… no contest.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:51 PM

        Tim Kurkjian, ESPN = Dr. Evil

        Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports = Mini-me

        Ken Rosenthal<Jon Heyman, not only in baseball insider knowledge, but in physical stature.

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:51 PM

        Being trapped in a small dark room with a rabid raccoon and a badger > Heyman **

        **Might be slightly exaggerated….

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:56 PM

        Hair, have to disagree with you there. Heyman may not have a media personality, but he knows his stuff. He reports things, especially player movements, far in advance of most baseball people. I think he has a good network of people that trusts the guy. He knows the business. Everything with him is no BS.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:58 PM

        Heyman was right on point about that mystery team. :)

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 22, 2011 at 6:01 PM

        Medical primate warrior, you simply can’t get away with that statement—there’s a mystery team mentioned in 97.5% of his reports. (Another 2% say something about Craig.)

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 22, 2011 at 6:01 PM

        That’s right, Doctor. I forgot about that. Heyman broke the stroy that Cliff Lee was going to the Phillies. All the other pundits said Yankees or Rangers only. Yeah, another feather in Heyman’s cap, besides his other unmatched insider knowledge.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 22, 2011 at 6:03 PM

        I know…hence the smiley face. Said more in jest than in seriousness.

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 22, 2011 at 6:07 PM

        Okay…my sarcasm detector got fried with that Hamels thread.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 22, 2011 at 6:08 PM

        From “Busta” Olney tweet:

        Buster_ESPN: Can promise this: If Twins were to work around waiver system to give Thome a chance to sign with PHI, other teams would contest the move.

        This joker is already making waves with his worry about the Phillies picking up Thome. He’s scared and jealous.

  4. nikesparq - Aug 22, 2011 at 4:54 PM


    Two fan favorites for the Minnesota Twins; Kubel and Thome. You guys will be missed no doubt. Span can never replace Kubels hitting. And Thome has been a pleasure to watch. Minnesota Twins management as usual releasing players and not getting anything in return.

    Goodluck guys.

    • kopy - Aug 22, 2011 at 4:57 PM

      They haven’t released anything. The Twins will pull them back unless they receive a trade offer they like, although that in itself is something to be fearful for.

  5. trevorb06 - Aug 22, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    I understand the Twins putting Thome on waivers but Kubel? This really irks me, we try to wrap Cuddyer up for 4 seasons and he’s 32 years old yet we’ll trade off Kubel (28 I believe) or let him walk. Cuddy is so inconsistent from year to year, they won’t get their money’s worth out of him.

    • FC - Aug 22, 2011 at 4:59 PM

      29 years old… still less than 32.

      • trevorb06 - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:11 PM

        Thanks for clarifying. I didn’t have time to go check it out.

        I know Thome basically said he wants a WS ring now so it’s nobel to try and ship him to a contender. I love watching Thome in a Twin’s jersey but I know his career would be complete if he got to the WS and won it.

  6. yankeesgameday - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Thome won’t make it passed Boston who will claim him just to keep him from dropping one slot to the Yankees. And trust me, if he is still there the Yanks WILL grab him as a left handed DH/pinch hitter for the post season. He’d be the best waiver deal they would have made since David Justice.

    Thome is going in the Hall as an Indian I think, but he can achieve NY immortality this September and October if this works out the way my wet dreams about this climax.

    • yankeesfanlen - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:16 PM

      Please don’t ever say “dropping one slot to the Yankees”.
      Anyway, as stated, Thome would bve a great bench choice for the Universe. Although, if it were possible, it has probably already (secretly) happened.
      Would overwhelmingly like to see this happen so Grumpy doesn’t see the light of the on-deck circle again.

      • trevorb06 - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:22 PM

        I’m sure Thome would welcome a trade to the Yankees with open arms (and ring finger)

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:25 PM

        Thome will go to the Phillies.

  7. Utley's Hair - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Wait…does his no-trade clause mean that he can reject being claimed by anyone, as well as being traded? If not, then okay.

    But if it does, then all of Rosenthal’s qualifying statements before the one about being able to reject any trade are irrelevant filler and fluff.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:24 PM

      This link might provide clarity.

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:57 PM

        I’m sure there’s some way for NinJr. to work something out. It would be nice to see Luke return to rule the baseball universe with Obi Wan—and yeah, I know Obi Wan was offed, but give me some leeway here, dammit!!!!

    • FC - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:24 PM

      He can’t reject claims, it’s just that if he is claimed and both teams work out a deal he can reject the trade that was worked out.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:40 PM

        You are usually right about such things, but not about this. Thome does have to go to any team he doesn’t wish to. If team X claims him and the Twins say you can have him, Thome has the right the veto the move to team X.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:41 PM

        does not have to not does have….damn lack of edit function.

      • FC - Aug 22, 2011 at 6:07 PM

        Thome does have to go to any team he doesn’t wish to. If team X claims him and the Twins say you can have him, Thome has the right the veto the move to team X.

        I’m not sure how that’s different from what I said. Unless you’re saying he can reject claims. I was under the impression that he can’t stop a team from putting a claim on him. So say if the Indians, Yankees and Phillies put in a claim, he can’t for example reject the Indian’s claim and then work with a Yankee’s claim.

        I think what would happen in that scenario is that the Twins will have to work out a deal with the Indians and Thome doesn’t like it he can reject it, at that point he forfeits the rest of his pay for the year, and becomes a Free Agent and can sign with whomever he wants.

        I guess the distinction I’m making is that the Twins can’t use Thome’s full NTC to manipulate the claim ladder and work out a deal with X team. The Twins will still have to negotiate with the Team who comes first in the claim ladder. If Thome rejects the trade he walks and is out 500K but gets to sign with whomever he wants, but the Twins might be twitched by that behavior since they would end up getting nothing in return.

        What part am I missing?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 22, 2011 at 6:11 PM

        I must of misunderstood what you initially said. What you wrote just now is absolutely correct. My apologies.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 22, 2011 at 6:15 PM

        My point was that if say the Yankees put in a claim and the Twins say “here take him” as was done with Alex Rios, Thome can refuse to go to the Yankees and become an FA. Rios had a full trade clause in his contract and had to approve going to the White Sox. It was a given Rios would approve the move because why would he forfeit the rest of his contract?

  8. icanspeel - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    See what happens when you blow a save on Trevor Hoffman’s number retiring day.. you get put on Waivers. Actually in Bell’s case he said he’d accept arbitration from Padres then make 1/5th of the entire 2012 Padres salary, so no draft picks for them and they could be stuck with him so makes sense to do this just to expand their options.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:07 PM

      There are a few NL teams that will claim Bell, including the Phillies. I doubt he makes it that far though.

      • FC - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:26 PM

        Assuming he fell that far down the claim ladder the Giants would take him in a heartbeat because of all those BP injuries.

  9. vicksprman - Aug 22, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    None of these guys make it through waivers period!!

  10. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Aug 22, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    The Indians are not on his “no trade” list.

    And, Philly fans, you realize he can’t play the field anymore, like, at all, right?

    My guess is, if he goes anywhere, it is to Chicago, CLE, or Detroit.

  11. Jonny 5 - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    Man, Imagine if the Indians, Phills, and Yankees all want him? I honestly don’t know what he’d do.
    1. It’s Cleveland, it’s where it all started for him. The fans love him.
    2. It’s Philly, it’s another reunion with fans that love him. What’s that? Oh yeah, ex Cleveland Coach whom Thome has a very strong relationship with Charlie Manuel is the manager.
    3.It’s NYY, Hmmm? I don’t see the upside of going there right now unless they throw me a deal, a good deal. Which they very well may. And that could trump all that nostalgia I mentioned above.

    All 3 could possibly get him a ring. Even though I say that because of math and all Cleveland isn’t going to give him that chance. It just isn’t going to happen.

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