Adrian Gonzalez’s potential availability is grabbing all the headlines, and rightfully so, but Dan Hayes of the North County Times reports that the Padres “will also listen to offers on Heath Bell.”
Bell, like Gonzalez, is only under team control through 2011. He’s also in line for a big raise via arbitration after saving 47 games with a 1.93 ERA while earning $4.5 million this season.
Bell has been amazing since the Padres acquired him from the Mets in November of 2006, going 24-15 with 91 saves and a 2.54 ERA in 311 innings, but he’s also 33 years and about to get very expensive with just one season until free agency.
San Diego is in a tough position with both Gonzalez and Bell because they’re likely to be contenders again in 2011, but if the Padres are going to trade one it makes sense to deal the other as well. Hayes writes that general manager Jed Hoyer “thinks they have two closer candidates in Mike Adams and Luke Gregerson” should Bell be traded.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.