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.