Padres GM: No three-year contracts

On Monday, Heath Bell’s three-year deal for $27 million with the Marlins became official.

The Padres, in their search for not only his replacement but an eighth-inning specialist, pressed on with their offseason agenda, knowing they now have a little more financial wiggle room after Bell signed (remember, they had offered him arbitration and would have been on the hook for $9-10 million had he accepted).

But the Padres and general manager Josh Byrnes won’t be frivolous with their extra loot, as Byrnes indicated that the team will not offer a free agent starting pitcher or reliever a deal with terms covering three years. In short, the Padres don’t want to be tied to any long-term deals, deals that often look pretty ugly for the club as far as bang for buck at the end of the deal.

Could that mean the Padres will look for a closer through trade? The team engaged more teams than agents on Monday and talks on several fronts. Could Tuesday be the day Byrnes and his team find a closer? Stayed tuned.

– Corey Brock

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