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Free agent Heath Bell expects to re-sign with the Padres

Sep 29, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

Heath Bell

While packing up his locker yesterday impending free agent Heath Bell told Dan Hayes of the North County Times that he expects to re-sign with the Padres this offseason:

It’s one of those things that hopefully the front office and my agent can do something. But I’m not worried about that. In my head, I’m not done.

San Diego opted against cashing in Bell for prospects at the trade deadline, choosing instead to take compensatory draft picks for the closer if he signs elsewhere as a free agent. To do that they’ll have to offer Bell arbitration and there’s an outside chance the 34-year-old right-hander will accept, locking the two sides into a one-year deal for around $9 million.

More likely is that if the Padres want to keep Bell they’ll have to outbid everyone for him on the market and it’ll be interesting to see if general manager Jed Hoyer wants to commit to a 34-year-old closer at a premium salary for multiple seasons. Bell may have to take less than the maximum possible contract to remain in San Diego.

  1. b7p19 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Don’t do it Jed. I love Heath Bell, but please don’t give him multiple years at 10 mil a year. A closer shouldn’t be the #1 priority for a rebuilding team. If he takes arbitration, fine, we’ll pay him 9 mil for a year and then take picks next year (or trade him in July).

    • jamie54 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:07 PM

      Yep, does not make sense for one player who does not get in that many games anyway due to the team he plays for, to make 20% or more of total team salary. Padres won’t be making many changes since they can’t afford to that leads to another lower division finish so get what you can by the deadline or let him walk and take the picks.

  2. detiger69 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    While I completely agree that San Diego shouldn’t sign Bell to a multiyear contract, my problem is with the notion that San Diego is doomed to a small market fate.

    San Diego is the 8th largest city in the United States. It is twice as large as Detroit, the largest city near me. Plus, San Diego is close enough to Los Angles that any marketing attempts it does can overlap and draw in people from the LA area. So why is the Padres financial situation so bleak? They should be able to command a sizeable television deal and should be able to draw enough fans to justify a payroll at least approaching 100 million.

    What is it about the economic situation that prevents them from being one of the large market players? The most obvious answer is an owner pocketing all the money for person reasons. That couldn’t be happening here too!

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Red Sox are looking for a closer…….

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