Closer Heath Bell and the Padres avoided arbitration by reaching a one-year, $4 million deal.
That’s a big raise for Bell, who made $1.255 million last year, but Bell wasn’t a top closer yet when he struck last year’s deal, he was a setup guy. $4 million for one of the best closers in the NL is not a bad deal at all for San Diego. It’s less than Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney are making.
Still, I’m assuming that the Padres would still accept offers for Bell, seeing as though Jed Hoyer is bright enough to realize that a team who is not likely to contend is not a team that really needs a top closer. Hoyer is also bright enough, however, to realize that he could likely get more for Bell during the season than he can right now.
Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.
Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.
The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.