Padres GM says closer Heath Bell unlikely to be traded

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Asked this afternoon if trading Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox meant the Padres would soon be parting with closer Heath Bell too, general manager Jed Hoyer called it “exceptionally likely” that Bell would be San Diego’s closer on Opening Day.

Hoyer added that “this isn’t a firesale” and “Heath is going to be our closer in 2011.”

That doesn’t rule out trading Bell during the season, of course, and there’s been speculation that the Padres may be able to get more for him in July anyway because of how many quality relievers are still available on the free agent market right now.

Bell is arbitration eligible for the third and final time in 2011, after which he’ll be a free agent. He’s due for a significant raise from his $4 million salary this year after saving 47 games with a 1.93 ERA.

Red Sox to activate Dustin Pedroia from disabled list on Friday

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Manager Alex Cora said that second baseman Dustin Pedroia will be activated from the disabled list on Friday, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports.

Pedroia, 34, had cartilage restoration surgery on his left knee in late October. He played in only 105 games last season, batting .293/.369/.392 with seven home runs and 62 RBI in 463 plate appearances. His offensive stats were his worst since an abnormally-bad 2014 campaign.

The 34-15 Red Sox have baseball’s best record. Eduardo Nunez has mostly been handling second base in Pedroia’s place, hitting a disappointing .243/.261/.361 in 177 trips to the plate. He has also, by most metrics, played subpar defense at the position, so getting Pedroia back will be a boon.