Padres GM on chances of trading Heath Bell: “At this point right now I’m not certain”

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Padres general manager Jed Hoyer did a radio interview with XX-1090 in San Diego yesterday and had an interesting response to a direct question about whether he’s going to trade closer Heath Bell, saying: “At this point right now, I’m not certain.”

Hoyer also explained that ownership has not told him to trade Bell and noted that “it’s been a pleasure having him” on the Padres, but clearly his response indicates that Bell will be heavily shopped.

Not surprising, certainly, but when a GM does nothing to shoot down the possibility of a star player being traded within the next few weeks it’s safe to bump the odds of it happening up a bit.

In addition to Bell the Padres are also sure to get a ton of interest in setup man Mike Adams, who might actually have more trade value in some scenarios because he makes about half as much money and is under team control for next season, whereas Bell is an impending free agent.

Bell has said previously that he’d consider giving the Padres a discount to remain in San Diego long term, but assuming he’s not willing to take significantly less than he could easily get on the open market I expect him to be traded between now and July 31.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.