Tag:Heath Bell
Posted on: February 17, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 5:39 pm

Chapman to relieve, but not close

Aroldis Chapman Aroldis Chapman will be in the bullpen, but won't be the closer this season, Dusty Baker told reporters on Thursday.

From John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer :
 “Let’s get this out of the way right now. I plan on using him like I used him last year. We’ll see how he progresses with things. How many appearances did the guy have last year?”

He had 39 at Louisville and 15 with the Reds.

“That’s not a lot of experience,” Baker said. “Not at this level. So we made concerted effort to bring him along slowly in a lower-pressurized situation. We brought him in mostly at the bottom of the order in the seventh and eighth inning. We hope to bring him along and put him in more important roles. We know the third day in a row he wasn’t nearly (effective). So we’re finding out about his resiliency, what kind of stuff he has two days in a row. Relieving is new to him. We need him more now as a reliever than a starter. The fact that he’s left-handed, the fact that he’s throwing more strikes, it might be easier on his arm right now.”

“One thing I want squash right now is closer-situation controversy. I know everyone want’s to be in a hurry to rush him in there. But we’ve got to get him acclimated to what he’s doing first. [Francisco] Cordero, even though it’s been exciting at times, he’s still second at least [in] our league in saves the last two years. That’s something that most people overlook.”
Cordero has 79 saves over the last two seasons, third behind Heath Bell (89) and Brian Wilson (86). Still, many expect Chapman to take over for Cordero, who is in the final season of a four-year, $46 million contract. He'll make $12 million this year with a club option (likely to be declined) for $12 million with a $1 million buyout. He currently has a limited no-trade clause.

The Reds still want to use Chapman long-term as a starter, but it won't happen this season. Pitching coach Bryan Price tells Fay that they'll continue to work on his change-up, but not use it in games -- as a reliever his fastball and slider are enough.

Price said the biggest thing he wants Chapman to do is to use his fastball to get ahead of batters, not worrying about placement much more than throwing it over the plate.

"Don’t put him in a position where he’s trying to shave off the inner or outer two inches of the plate early in the at-bat," Price said. "The way he comes in — if it’s the 95 or the 100-plus — he’s hard to get a good swing on. He’s a hard guy to square up. So we don’t want him to try to make the perfect pitcher’s pitch on the first pitch. We want him to attacked the zone with his fastball and slider and get ahead in the count."

As for Chapman, he tells Fay he's happy as a reliever.

“I didn’t think about it too much: My job is a reliever. I’m a reliever now,” he said. “I want to be a starter but I don’t think about that. My job now is to be a reliever. That’s job I’m going to do. The day they want me to be a starter, I’ll start thinking about it.”

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: February 13, 2011 4:33 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 3:14 pm

Reports from reportings

Heath Bell With pitchers and catchers from nine teams reporting today, there's been plenty of news to report.

Here's a look around the league at some interesting tidbits:

• Padres closer Heath Bell, right, said he's surprised -- but happy -- he's still in San Diego. His agents are hoping for a multi-year deal with the team this spring. (MLB.com )

• Jered Weaver said he had "no hard feelings" toward the Angels after losing his arbitration case last week, but there are currently no talks about a long-term deal right now. (Los Angeles Times )

• Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton says he's glad he didn't get traded last season and wants to stay with the Diamondbacks long-term. (Arizona Republic )

• Here's a really good read, as Atlanta Journal-Constitution Braves beat writer David O'Brien goes on a motorcycle ride with new Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez, and the two talk motorcycles and managing following the ride on Super Bowl Sunday. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution )

• Padres manager Bud Black says in a Q&A that the team is more balanced this season than it was in 2010. (San Diego Union-Tribune )

• New Padres first baseman Brad Hawpe took a glove from former Rockies teammate Todd Helton to use at first base. (San Diego Union-Tribune )

• Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher had surgery to remove a cancerous nodule on his thyroid gland last Thursday. Butcher attended some of the team's meetings on Sunday and expects to be back full-time this week. (Orange County Register )

• Mariners closer David Aardsma hopes to be off crutches on Wednesday and maybe throwing a week or a week-and-a-half later. The Mariners closer hopes to return in April. (Seattle Times )

* The Mariners may be looking to add Chad Durbin to their bullpen. (FOXSports.com )

• The Indians see Orlando Cabrera as a "super utility" type, playing all around the infield. (Cleveland Plain Dealer )

• The Cubs and closer Carlos Marmol are expected to avoid arbitration and may announce a deal on Monday, the day before a hearing was scheduled. The Cubs offered $4.1 million and Marmol asked for $5.65 million. It's possible the two have reached a long-term deal. (MLB.com )

• Fans celebrate the 50th anniversary of Strat-O-Matic. (MLB.com )

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: January 18, 2011 12:31 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2011 4:41 pm

Arbitration deals: Fielder gets $15.5 million

The deadline for submitting arbitration figures is less than an hour away at this writing, and compromise deals for arb-eligible players are rolling in fast and furious. We won't list all of them here (here is a good resource for a comprehensive look), but here is a look at some of the notable deals (links lead to sources):

* Prince Fielder, who seemed certain to reach a hearing, made a last-minute deal with the Brewers for $15.5 million. He made $10.5 million last season. As noted by Tom Haudricort of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the deal ends Zack Greinke's short reign as highest-paid Brewer ever. Greinke, traded to the Brewers last month, is due $13.5 million next season.

* Stephen Drew has re-upped with the Diamondbacks on a two-year deal, per Jon-Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. He'll earn $13.75 million over the two years, with a mutual option for 2013. Drew was slated to become a free agent after 2012, so this deal may only buy out one year of free agency.

* A hefty price just came down on closer Matt Capps, agreeing to a $7.15 million deal with the Twins as MLB.com reports. This is one deal that is tough to see, although he did save 42 games with an ERA under 3.00 in 2010.

* Postseason hero Cody Ross has received a contract worth $6.3 million from the Giants, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

* Jane Lee of MLB.com has two Athletics agreeing to deals: Dallas Braden signing for $3.35 million and outfielder Conor Jackson for $3.32. Braden is coming off a season in which he tossed a perfect game, while Jackson is hoping to revitalize his career after a lost 2010.

* Brandon Morrow, one of the Jays' young fireballing starters, avoided arbitration by agreeing to a deal that will pay him $2.3 million as Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reveals.

* Jonathan Papelbon receives an incremental raise over 2010 and will take home $12 million in 2010, writes CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam. Jacoby Ellsbury, meanwhile, packs away $2.4 million.

* Lefty starter John Danks is a rich man after agreeing to a $6 million deal with the White Sox as SI.com's Jon Heyman says.

* The Yankees used some of the money left over from not signing Cliff Lee to ink starter Phil Hughes to a $2.7 million deal as Heyman reports.

* Some hefty money being paid in Texas. Eligible for arbitration for the first time, Nelson Cruz hauls in $3.65 million according to ESPN while C.J. Wilson gears up for free agency after the season with a $7 million payday.

* New Cub Matt Garza will earn $5.95 million on the north side of Chicago as Heyman writes. Sean Marshall, meanwhile, signs a two-year deal worth $4.7 million, ChicagoBreakingSports.com reports. Marshall is expected to move to the starting rotation and join up with Garza.

* Chad Billingsley will net $6.275 million from the Dodgers, reports Dylan Hernandes of the Los Angeles Times.

* J.J. Hardy will make $5.85 million in his first year with the Orioles, reports the Baltimore Sun.

* Jordan Bastian of MLB.com has Shin-Soo Choo receiving a $3.975 million deal from the Indians.

* As we reported earlier, Padres closer Heath Bell settled for $7.5 million.

* The Padres also got a deal done with outfielder Ryan Ludwick for $6.775 million. He made $5.45 million last season.

* Outfielder Rajai Davis gets a two-year deal from the Blue Jays, worth $2.5 million in 2011 and $2.75 million in 2012 with a $3 million club option in 2013.

* Closer David Aardsma is back in Seattle for $4.5 million, reports the Seattle Times.

* Astros infielder Clint Barmes settled for $3.925 million.

* The Athletics and outfielder Josh Willingham agreed to a $6 million deal in his last year of arbitration eligibility. That's a raise from $4.6 million.

-- David Andriesen and Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: January 18, 2011 10:24 am

Padres' Bell avoids arbitration with $7.5M deal

Heath Bell has avoided arbitration with a $7.5 million, one-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com.

The Padres' closer has been the subject of much speculation this winter, at times rumored to be headed for a trade or a contentious arbitration hearing. In his final year of arbitration eligibility, he gets a healthy raise from the $4 million he made in 2010.

With Bell an impending free agent who will likely be out of the Padres' price range, you have to think there's a decent chance the Padres will not be paying all of his $7.5 million salary this season. Unless San Diego is in the thick of a playoff race at the deadline, they'll probably look to move him.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 14, 2011 4:25 pm

Top five bullpens in baseball

With the signing of Rafael Soriano, the Yankees are poised to have one of the best bullpens in the game.

But who is No. 1? And for that matter, who are the top five bullpens in the game?

Glad you asked.

Bell1. SAN DIEGO Padres
Closer: Heath Bell
Setup: Luke Gregerson, Mike Adams
Others: Joe Thatcher (L), Dustin Moseley, Ernesto Frieri, Chad Qualls

Why: The Padres dumped Adam Russell, Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb but still have the best bullpen in the business. Heath Bell is one of the best closers in the game while Gregerson and Adams would close for many clubs. Thatcher may not total many innings (35 in 65 games) but it's hard to find a better situational reliever.

Closer: Mariano Rivera
Setup: Rafael Soriano
Others: Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, Pedro Feliciano (L), Damaso Marte (L)

Why: Soriano and Rivera will form one of the best one-two punches to close out a game (although every other team on this list can make a similar claim), but the real strength comes in depth. Chamberlain isn't the same pitcher he once was, but still has talent while Robertson could one day close. Feliciano isn't a top-end left-hander, but is a durable workhorse that should rack up plenty of appearances.

Feliz3. TEXAS Rangers

Closer: Neftali Feliz
Setup: Alexi Ogando, Frank Francisco
Others: Darren Oliver (L), Arthur Rhodes (L), Mark Lowe

Why: It's easy to overlook this bullpen because it's full of aging left-handers (two of them!) and players that have toiled in relative obscurity, but Feliz led all closers in saves as a rookie, Ogando threw up a 1.30 ERA and Francisco is a former closer -- who could close for many clubs.

Bailey4. OAKLAND Athletics
Closer: Andrew Bailey
Setup: Grant Balfour, Brad Ziegler
Others: Joey Devine, Michael Wuertz, Craig Breslow (L)

Why: A late-season injury kept Bailey under 50 innings pitched, but not before the reigning Rookie of the Year winner announced his arrival among the elite of closers. Grant Balfour vaults the A's onto the top five list and will pair with the submariner Ziegler. They lack a top left-handed option, but the returning Devine (Tommy John surgery) and slider specialist in Wuertz will give batters fits.

Kimbrel5. ATLANTA Braves

Closer: Craig Kimbrel (pictured) or Johnny Venters (L)
Setup: Venters/Kimbrel
Others: Scott Linebrink, Peter Moylan, Scott Proctor, George Sherrill (L)

Why: Kimbrel and Venters are simply very filthy pitchers. Kimbrel, in 20 2/3 innings, struck out a staggering 40 batters (although that came with 16 walks) and is the favorite to close. He'll be rivaled by Venters, who hurled 83 innings in his rookie year, punching out 93. It's not every day a club has two relievers capable of punching out over 10 batters per nine. The middle relief corps is fairly weak, but Linebrink should eat innings and and Moylan is a quality arm.

You may notice that the Red Sox were left off the list -- if this was a top six list (hint: it's not), Boston would have ranked sixth. Jonathan Papelbon will be set up by the dangerous Daniel Bard, and the additions of Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler should deepen the club. However, Papelbon's volatility and lack of a top-end left-handed reliever hurt. You could make a case that the Braves belong sixth given the lack of experience in the closer and setup roles. Boston does beat Atlanta in middle relief, but a closer and setup men is more important to your bullpen.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 8, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2011 12:34 pm

Bell wants to stay with Padres

BellHeath Bell has a dream, and that's to remain with the Padres.

Not many people would prefer to stay in town on a team that isn't guaranteed of winning and has minimal cash at its disposal, but that's exactly what Bell wants to do according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

The 33-year-old closer is entering his final year of arbitration and his third year of being closer, making $4 million in 2010. He's notched 89 saves in these two years across 139 2/3 innings, punching out 165.

Bell's arbitration number is certain to rise, likely beyond $6 million but the Padres are expected to hang onto the righty until at least the trade deadline. However, Bell is expected to be traded given his rising salary and advanced age. Bell, for his part, won't be willing to give much -- if any -- hometown discount.

"This next contract is going to be very important to my family," said Bell. "I'm not 27 or 28 when I become eligible for free agency like Adrian [Gonzalez]. I have to think about this contract

"But I also want to stay in San Diego. My family loves it here. I love it here. I'd love to get something done with the Padres that benefits everyone."

GM Jed Hoyer, for his part, is ready for multiyear discussions, but no progress has been made on a deal. Bell is expected to look for at least three years and $20 million in any pact.

"I'm sure a discussion of a multiyear contract for Heath will come up," Hoyer said. "Sam and I have a good working relationship. We've touched on the subject although it's early."

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 15, 2010 6:09 pm

Typhoid fever hits Padres' Bell

Heath Bell
Ah, to be a millionaire All-Star, skipping around exotic islands and renewing your wedding vows with your loving wife.

Well, except for the part where you get typhoid fever.

Heath Bell ended up hospitalized with the dangerous bacterial infection after picking it up in the Fijian island of Tavarua (which looks like a pretty awesome place), then became ill when he and wife Nicole went on to Maui.

"It's something I ate in Tavarua," Bell told Corey Brock of MLB.com. "It gets in your stomach and you usually flush it out. For whatever reason, my body didn't flush it out.

"When we got to Hawaii, I had body aches, I was like, 'Man, what do I have?' I usually don't get sick. The next two nights, I couldn't stop sweating. She [Nicole] finally made me go to the ER on Thursday. During the day, I felt pretty good, but at night I would start sweating a lot. It was like I ran five miles. I just kept sweating. At night, I would get these spurts when I would get cold and I would have 10 blankets on."

He got blood tests, but not a diagnosis, when he visited the emergency room, and was released. The next day, the Bells renewed their vows, and afterward hotel security tracked them down. The hospital was calling to tell him bacteria was found in his blood and he had to be hospitalized immediately.

After three days in a Hawaiian hospital, Bell was allowed to travel to San Diego, where he is recovering at home.

"I just think it's a blessing in disguise. Maybe it's the Lord telling me to ease up a little," Bell said. "Life is a gift and that's what we've been talking about the last week. You just never know."

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: December 4, 2010 10:43 am
Edited on: December 4, 2010 1:02 pm

Bell may be next Padre out of town

Heath Bell As if getting rid of Adrian Gonzalez wasn't enough, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com tweets the Padres "absolutely" will trade closer Heath Bell.

Bell has one year remaining of arbitration and is due for a raise after making $4 million last season. Bell was 6-1 with a 1.93 ERA and 47 saves in 2010.

Rosenthal lists the White Sox, Angels, Rangers, Marlins, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Rays as teams possibly interested in Bell.

UPDATE: Rosenthal tweets that another source has told him it's "highly unlikely" that the Padres will move Bell this offseason.

Well, I'm guessing one of those two reports will be right.

UPDATE: Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman tweets that the Padres will keep Bell.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com