Posted by beaston26 on 24th August 2011
All Star closer Heath Bell of the San Diego Padres was claimed off waivers by the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. Could the Giants be making a serious play for their division rival’s closer? Brian Wilson and Sergio Romo are currently on the disabled list with elbow injuries. Brian Sabean has never shied away from making a splash past the non-waiver deal (he acquired Cody Ross from the Marlins last August).
Despite these two facts it is unlikely that San Francisco pulls the trigger on this one. The price tag put on Bell by the Padres was quite high when they were shopping him at the Trade Deadline, the main reason he currently remains in San Diego. It was believed San Diego was looking to acquire at least 1, possibly 2, high end prospects in return for the closer. Even though Bell is a free agent at the end of the year and would yield a high draft pick if he departed via free agency, this is probably a price tag the Giants will not be willing to pay, especially considering how their last trade involving a top prospect has worked out thus far (Carlos Beltran and his balky wrist).
The claim on Bell was most likely to block Arizona GM Kevin Towers, the man in charge of bringing Bell to San Diego initially, from reuniting with his former closer. The Giants trail the Diamondbacks by 2 games in the West and can’t afford to allow Arizona to strengthen their bullpen any further. Who knows, maybe Sabean thinks Wilson’s injury is more serious than initially thought or maybe he is just desperate to stop the bleeding and will sell the farm for a chance to potentially repeat. We will know for sure in the next 48 hours.