Padres closer Heath Bell was awarded MLB’s Delivery Man of the Year Award earlier this week for posting a 1.93 ERA and converting 47 of 50 save opportunities during the regular season.
And now he’s looking to cash in, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times.
“Three years is perfect,” Bell said Thursday when asked about possible negotiations toward a contract extension. “I don’t expect more because I’m an older guy.”
That last part is nice and all, but a three-year deal might be a reach. Bell earned $4 million in 2010 via salary arbitration and could be bumped to a salary as high as $7 million for 2011. Extend that over the next three seasons and Bell is essentially asking for a three-year contract worth more than $20 million. That’s big-time money to pay a closer and the Padres have a rather small operating budget.
Bell is one of the best ninth-inning men in the game — there’s little doubt about that — but he may have to move elsewhere after 2011 in order to cash in. Look for his name to come up in trade talks this winter and again next summer.
Rick Morissey of the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on Sunday giving a bit of insight into Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. When Epsten was younger, he dabbled in sportswriting, but quickly realized the trade wasn’t for him.
As Morissey details, when Epstein was 19 years old writing for Yale’s student newspaper, he wrote an article suggesting the school’s football coach should be fired during what would become a 3-7 season. Epstein was told during the meeting that one writer would defend the coach and one would call for his job. “It was a lesson in the way that the world of journalism sometimes works. It was an eye-opener for me. I regret it, and I’ve happily moved on.”
Epstein continued, “I realized I didn’t want to be a sportswriter when I was interning with the Orioles back in ’92, ’93, ’94. I did do a lot of media-relations stuff, and I saw that the life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself in the press box, go back to the hotel bar. Not to generalize.” He added, “But I really respect writing and respect sportswriters.”
He’s not wrong, and he seems to have found his calling as a front office executive. His Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.