While packing up his locker yesterday impending free agent Heath Bell told Dan Hayes of the North County Times that he expects to re-sign with the Padres this offseason:
It’s one of those things that hopefully the front office and my agent can do something. But I’m not worried about that. In my head, I’m not done.
San Diego opted against cashing in Bell for prospects at the trade deadline, choosing instead to take compensatory draft picks for the closer if he signs elsewhere as a free agent. To do that they’ll have to offer Bell arbitration and there’s an outside chance the 34-year-old right-hander will accept, locking the two sides into a one-year deal for around $9 million.
More likely is that if the Padres want to keep Bell they’ll have to outbid everyone for him on the market and it’ll be interesting to see if general manager Jed Hoyer wants to commit to a 34-year-old closer at a premium salary for multiple seasons. Bell may have to take less than the maximum possible contract to remain in San Diego.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.