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Giants claim Padres closer Heath Bell off revocable waivers

Aug 24, 2011, 1:44 PM EST

Heath Bell Reuters

Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Giants claimed Heath Bell off waivers, meaning they’re now the only team eligible to trade for the Padres closer.

Brian Wilson‘s elbow problems may have played a factor in the Giants’ decision to claim Bell, although because the Padres obviously weren’t going to simply give him away for nothing there’s zero risk involved. And if they can’t agree to a deal, then at least they blocked Bell from going to other NL teams.

San Diego’s decision whether or not to trade Bell is a tricky one, because he’d fetch compensatory draft picks as a departing free agent, but there’s a shot he might simply accept the Padres’ arbitration offer and still a chance the two sides could agree to a multi-year deal. Whatever the case, it seems unlikely that the Padres would trade him to the Giants without getting at least one very good prospect in return.

  1. icanspeel - Aug 24, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Giants probably just did it to block another team.. Interesting they were the ones to make the claim though as I am sure that may be 1 of the few places the Padres would want to trade him.

  2. thekcubrats - Aug 24, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Bell seems to be pitching without much focus of late, maybe he’ll want to do this, and if he winds up in SF I bet he’ll still try to get the Pads to sign him in November. I just hope it doesn’t cost the G Gary Brown.

  3. FC - Aug 24, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    Hah! I called this!

  4. Marty - Aug 24, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Who would they be sniping? The only team worth blocking right now would be AZ and Putz is their guy. If it’s a team outside the West they want to block, then they must be thinking playoff match ups, and by that time Wilson would be ready. And, iff it’s a team outside of the NL West let him go, won’t have to face him next season.

    The Giants aren’t blocking anyone. They’ve lost too many games recently by the pen – they want a short term closer.

    • paulsdamnblog - Aug 24, 2011 at 2:58 PM

      Umm… Philadelphia, Atlanta, St Louis… If they managae to overtake the D-Backs, most likely they’ll be playing one of these teams in the playoffs. So I’d say there is a small list of teams that they are blocking.

      • marinersnate - Aug 24, 2011 at 3:15 PM

        Umm… You might just want to add Milwaukee to that list and subtract another NL central team.

      • Marty - Aug 24, 2011 at 3:35 PM

        @paul,

        Krimbrel (Braves) has the most saves in baseball, and last I check the Phills weren’t having trouble saving games.

        So this is to block the Cards? Come on!

      • jamie54 - Aug 24, 2011 at 3:38 PM

        RIght, and NO, not Milwaukee that makes no sense with K Rod and Axford. I’d bet they’re trying to block Phils. Atlanta has too many studs for 7,8,9: Venters, O’flaherty, Kimbrel so they sure as heck won’t claim Bell so that makes no sense either. St. Louis? Too far gone, done.

      • paulsdamnblog - Aug 24, 2011 at 3:57 PM

        @Marty, I’m a Phil’s fan, grew up there and always will be. That said, I look at the back end there and see a potential problem going into the playoffs. Sure Madson pitched on the 08 Series team, but Bastardo hasn’t really had meaningful playoff experience. Mike Stutes, our 7th inning guy is starting to run out of gas it looks like, at least judging by some of his outings over the last month or so. As for the Braves, well, yes their pen is quite nasty. St. Louis is more of a pipedream at the now. So I’d say they are blocking the Phil’s at the very least. I don’t blame them at all either, if there was ever a weakness in Philly its the bullpen.

      • FC - Aug 24, 2011 at 7:12 PM

        Really? The Pen? That same Pen that has the least blown saves in all of MLB? I lean more toward the Giants want help with their Pen right now because of Romo and Beard issues.

  5. SOBEIT - Aug 24, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Unless there is a lot more to worry about with Wilson’s elbow injury than we have been told, this is just a block to prevent AZ from getting him. But considering how awesome the 7,8,9th inning guys are for the Braves, the Giants might want to start tinkering with the bullpen and add a closer for the 8th spot. Once Wilson comes back, 8th and 9th inning is locked down if Bell is acquired. Then we use Romo, Lopez, Affeldt, Casilla, Ramirez for the 6th & 7th innings.

  6. Nick Alaga - Aug 24, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    “Fear the Slide”….maybe not.

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