MIAMI — The list of teams inquiring about Padres closer Heath Bell is long. But, according to reports, none of those teams have been as aggressive as the Marlins.
FOXSports.com and ESPN.com reported Wednesday that more than 10 teams have inquired about Bell, but Florida has been on the hottest pursuit. According to FOXSports.com, however, San Diego would want one of the Marlins’ top pitching prospects, lefties Sean West or Andrew Miller, as the centerpiece of a multi-player package.
Whether or not the front office would part ways with either of those two arms is unknown, but Florida’s farm system is deep enough in prospects to sway any general manager.
Why Bell would pique the Marlins’ interest is easy: He fills a dire need in the back end of their bullpen, is 31 years old and under club control for the next two years, and the low-payroll Marlins would only have to pay a pro-rated chunk of his $1.255 million contract — which amounts to about $400,000.
The Marlins have been using Leo Nunez to close out games with Matt Lindstrom on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Lindstrom, the team’s closer at the start of the season, is expected back by this weekend.
In 38 appearances this season Bell, a right-hander, sports a 2.01 ERA and has converted 25 of his 26 saves. In six seasons in the big leagues, Bell sports a career 3.38 ERA. This is his first year as a team’s full-time closer.
— Alden Gonzalez