Ozzie Guillen on Heath Bell in the second half. No pressure:
“If Heath Bell does not pitch the way he should be pitching, we are not going anywhere,’’ Guillen said. “If he continues to pitch the way he has pitched, we’re done.’’
Not that he’s wrong.
I didn’t see it, but I’m told that there is a tense scene in that “Franchise” show featuring the Marlins in which Bell goes up to Guillen and wants him to commit to Bell as the Marlins’ closer despite his troubles. Given Bell’s insecurity about it, given his continued poor performance and given Guillen’s comments here, being Heath Bell is probably not a lot of fun right now.
Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.
There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.
As for Reed, well, who knows.