The big news isn't that Heath Bell remains a Padre.
The 48-hour waiver trade deadline passed at 10 a.m. Friday without the Giants able to negotiate a trade for the Padres closer, meaning Bell stays with the Padres.
The big news is that Bell believes he will be returning to the Padres in 2012.
"At the end of the day, I really think I'm coming back next year," said Bell. "We're not talking, but I think something will happen."
Bell is a free agent at the end of the season. He has told the Padres he wants a three-year contract. The Padres have told Bell that two years might be possible.
Meantime, Bell has said he would accept salary arbitration if the Padres offer it. The Padres need Bell to reject salary arbitration if they hope to get two first-round draft picks if he signs elsewhere as a free agent.
As for being on waivers, Bell said: "I ain't going nowhere and I never thought I was."
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.