Results tagged ‘ Heath Bell ’

Moving day for the Padres?

Is there another organization in baseball with as many interesting and attractive pieces to move between now and Sunday’s trade deadline as the Padres?

Before now and Sunday’s 1 p.m. PT deadline, consider what might happen with the Padres.

Three-time closer Heath Bell figures to be on his way out of town, possibly to the Rangers, who to date have shown the most interest. Bell would love to stay in San Diego, but if the Padres truly aren’t interested in trading set-up guy Mike Adams, they almost certainly have to move Bell.

Reliever Chad Qualls also figures to be traded. A former closer, Qualls has been healthy this season and rediscovered his power sinker. Better still, he could be a low-cost option for a contender.

Outfielder Ryan Ludwick, who can play left or right field, has 62 RBIs this season and could help a team looking for a bat for the stretch run. Ludwick is also a great clubhouse guy who would have no trouble assimilating himself wherever he goes. The Braves and Indians have shown interest.

Pitcher Aaron Harang’s homecoming to his native San Diego has gone well. He’s 9-2 with a 3.45 ERA, granted that a lot of his success has come at pitcher-friendly PETCO Park. Still, for a team looking to add a starter, he could be a viable option.

The Padres are looking to add impact players with upside and I would imagine they want to add a catcher and possibly a shortstop in at least one of these deals.

— Corey Brock

Big move looks unlikely for Angels

CLEVELAND – There has been considerable talk about the need of another bat or a reliever, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia seems content with his roster. Before Monday night’s game against the Indians, Scioscia didn’t dismiss outright the notion of a non-waiver Trade Deadline deal being made by Sunday – but didn’t sound overly encouraged or even enthused about the prospect.

Owner “Arte Moreno has spent enough money,” Scioscia said. “We need to get it in-house. It’s realistic. It’s not a wing and a prayer. I think we’ll get better, and I’ve already seen signs of it.”

In Scioscia’s mind, a return to form by Fernando Rodney after missing five weeks with upper back issues “is like a huge trade acquisition.” Rodney couldn’t have looked much better in his first appearance since returning to the bullpen, striking out two of the three hitters he faced in Baltimore on Saturday with fastballs only.

“It’s hard to get a guy who can throw anywhere from middle [relief] to late in the game and have the possibility to close,” Scioscia said, referring to Rodney. He brings back-end balance in the form of two right-handers (with closer Jordan Walden) and two lefties (Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi).”

There have been reports connecting the Angels to the Padres and Heath Bell, but the Angels have been down that road before and the asking price was way too high for their taste.

Scisocia seems convinced the Angels’ offense has the right pieces but just needs Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, Maicer Izturis and Vernon Wells to produce closer to the level of their track records. – Lyle Spencer

Padres: Trade Adams or Bell?

It’s less than two weeks before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline and the Padres find themselves with an interesting conundrum on their hands: Trade three-time All-Star closer Heath Bell or reliever Mike Adams, who is regarded as one of the top eighth-inning specialists in the game?

Bell is making $7.5 million and will be a free agent after the season. He loves San Diego. He’s making his home here and, if he had the choice, would remain a Padre for life. If the Padres don’t like the package of players offered for him, they could hang onto him, offer him arbitration (pray he declines) and then add two Draft picks in 2012. But what if he accepts? There’s a big risk there for a club that had a $43 million payroll and isn’t interested in devoting a large portion of their payroll to a non position player.

Adams, who at 32 is 10 months younger than Bell, could attract the best compensation package. The Padres are looking for young, controllable players. Impact players with upside. Players, presumably, no more than a year or so away from being able to contribute at the Major League level. For a team looking for a late-inning reliever or even a possible closer (though Adams hasn’t done that at the Major League level) Adams looks like a very viable option. And that he is under club control for 2012 makes him even more attractive.

So who goes? That will depend on the best offer. Moving Bell might make the best financial sense for the Padres. But a deal for Adams could get them the pieces the team covets to build moving forward.

— Corey Brock

If Phil is right, do the Yankees need Ubaldo?

That’s the question Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is likely pondering as the non-waiver Trade Deadline nears.

Anybody would want Ubaldo Jimenez — but at what cost?

With regards to the Yankees, the names that have surfaced as potential pieces to a deal are the likes of Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Ivan Novaand Jesus Montero (though is reporting Monday that Montero wouldn’t be the centerpiece of the potential trade, since the Rockies don’t view him as a catcher).

Since Jimenez is under club control for a while, is pretty affordable and isn’t really having a great year, the Rockies don’t feel much pressure to move him at this point. So it isn’t surprising that they’re asking so much for his services.

An added wrinkle is what took place on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre, when Phil Hughes registered his best start of the year — the type that made you feel he was getting awfully close to being the 18-game winner of 2010.

Now, the question is: If Hughes really is back, should the Yankees — with CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Hughes at the top of their rotation, and Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Nova filling out the back end — give the Rockies what they want for Ubaldo?

Bombers Beat has more on that dilemma …


Padres have attractive pieces to move

San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer has been busy in recent weeks fielding calls from other teams about relievers who are expected to be available — three-time All-Star Heath Bell, Chad Qualls and, quite possibly, Mike Adams.

The Padres are also looking to move left fielder Ryan Ludwick to a team looking for a right-handed, middle-of-the-order bat.

But, make no mistake, the relievers are getting the most hits.

Bell will be a free agent after the season, so he might end up a rental for a team. If that’s the case, it won’t be easy to land a big prospect package.

Qualls, after a terrible 2010 season, has reestablished himself as a viable late-inning reliever as his hard sinker has returned.

Adams is a wild card here. Many view him as a future close, a spot he figures to land in if the Padres traded Bell.
He’s under team control through 2012 and would get the Padres the best package of prospects if they decided to deal him.

What are the Padres looking for?

Keep this in mind: Upside, impact players. Their farm system doesn’t have too many players ready to graduate to the Major League level. I would expect the Padres to ask for a shortstop/second baseman and catcher in return when they choose to make a deal.

The Phillies and Reds have more of these pieces than, say, the Cardinals. The Cardinals aren’t going to part with Shelby Miller and they don’t have a lot of prospects close to the Major Leagues.

The next two weeks should be interesting. Teams aren’t nearly as willing to part with prospects as they once were. Will the Padres land the upside/impact prospects they covet?

Stay tuned.

— Corey Brock

Bell addresses his future

Heath Bell has no illusions. He’s fully aware of the probability that he’s going to be traded between now and the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. And he’s perfectly willing to discuss it — at length and in detail.


On Monday, at his media availability session prior to Tuesday’s All-Star Game, Bell fielded a variety of questions about what he would prefer when and if the time comes that he’s playing somewhere other than San Diego. Bell can be a free agent after the 2011 season.


Asked whether it’s a problem if a team acquires him to be a setup man:

“If a club wants me to close, I’ll do the best I can. If a club wants me to be the eighth-inning guy, I’ll bust my butt to do the eighth inning. I don’t have a problem. As a free [agent], I definitely want to close. But for the last two, three months of the year? I’m good. I’ll set up. Because I think I’ve showed everybody than I can close. I don’t think I’m going to worry about this offseason whether they want me to close or set up. But I definitely want to close next year. But if I’ve got to set up this year, it’s OK.”


Asked whether it matters which league he goes to:

“No. I like the National League because I know everybody. But then I look at the American League, and they don’t really know me. I don’t think in the Major Leagues you trick anybody or you fool anybody, because everybody kind of knows everything. But the American League hitters haven’t really seen me, but then again I haven’t seen them. It’s going to be interesting. If I get traded to the East or the Central of the National League, those guys don’t see me all the time and now they will. So I’ll be more familiar with them. If I get traded to the American League, I’ve got a lot of homework to do. But they also have a lot of homework to do.”


And asked whether it’s just the slightest bit strange to be answering so many questions like this, so matter-of-factly, when he’s still a member of the Padres:

“I’m actually glad I’m answering it now and not like once every day for the next two weeks. Because in San Diego we’ve got like two or three guys [covering the team every day]. And they’ll come up to me every few days and just say, ‘Hey, have you heard anything?’ ‘Nah, I haven’t heard anything.’ ‘All right, cool.’ So they won’t write anything.”


–Matthew Leach

Could Padres be buyers … and sellers?

The surprising San Diego Padres have spent nearly every day atop the National League West Division.

They have designs on remaining there, which means they’re considering adding pieces to their 25-man roster in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Padres owner Jeff Moorad has said the team will consider adding payroll to make a move. And last week, general manager Jed Hoyer, said they team is looking at offensive additions as well as adding a starting pitcher.

“I don’t feel like you’re ever all set,” Hoyer said. “I think we’re looking on both sides [pitching and offense].”

Like any other team, the Padres aren’t especially excited about parting with prospect to make improvements to their current roster. That said, they might be forced to part with some of their pitching depth to do so.

Finding another starting pitcher makes sense for the Padres. Kevin Correia is struggling. Chris Young, expected to be a key piece to the rotation, has pitched once (in April, no less) and might be a long shot to return this season.

Then there’s this: All-Star closer Heath Bell, who makes $4 million and will be arbitration eligible again, could be a piece the team could move. As reluctant as the Padres might be to break up their dynamic 7-8-9 bullpen trio (Luke Adams, Mike Adams and Bell) they could potentially land add a package of prospect/Major League ready players for Bell’s services.

In other words, stay tuned. It could be an interesting month in San Diego.

— Corey Brock