Adrian Gonzalez’s potential availability is grabbing all the headlines, and rightfully so, but Dan Hayes of the North County Times reports that the Padres “will also listen to offers on Heath Bell.”
Bell, like Gonzalez, is only under team control through 2011. He’s also in line for a big raise via arbitration after saving 47 games with a 1.93 ERA while earning $4.5 million this season.
Bell has been amazing since the Padres acquired him from the Mets in November of 2006, going 24-15 with 91 saves and a 2.54 ERA in 311 innings, but he’s also 33 years and about to get very expensive with just one season until free agency.
San Diego is in a tough position with both Gonzalez and Bell because they’re likely to be contenders again in 2011, but if the Padres are going to trade one it makes sense to deal the other as well. Hayes writes that general manager Jed Hoyer “thinks they have two closer candidates in Mike Adams and Luke Gregerson” should Bell be traded.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.