MLB Trade Rumors: Update on 5 Biggest Players in Heath Bell Sweepstakes
As the 2011 MLB regular season shifts to the All-Star break, trade rumors and speculation will only continue to flourish regarding some of the game's most sought-after talents.
From the looks of the trade market, there seems to be but one big-name hurler that could be moved, and that happens to be San Diego's luminary closer, Heath Bell.
Since word on the street says many teams will be in the running for Bell's services, let's take a look at the five teams with the best shot at landing the Padres' fireballer.
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The Brewers are no stranger to making outlandish moves at the trade deadline, and the need for power relievers is certainly there.
Even after refurbishing their staff in the offseason with Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum and Takashi Saito, Milwaukee finds itself with a 4.10 cumulative ERA—enough to be 10th-worst in all of baseball.
If worst comes to worst, the Brewers may have to deal away a couple prospects to the Padres to acquire Bell. And by the looks of it, I wouldn't be surprised if GM Doug Melvin pulls the trigger with Prince Fielder more than likely leaving after this season.
Bell would obviously be a superb addition to a Brewer bullpen with many needs, and could be that all-important final "piece to the puzzle" in Milwaukee's World Series quest.
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Cincinnati has struggled to find consistency out of its bullpen thus far in 2011, and Francisco Cordero has been shaky at times. But outside of Co-Co, who do the Reds have?
Yes, Aroldis Chapman will have a colossal impact in the Reds' playoff hopes, but Dusty Baker knows as well as you and I know they can't get by with a mediocre bullpen.
Tampa Bay Rays
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In his first season as Tampa Bay's full-time closer, Kyle Farnsworth has probably outperformed what was expected of him, carrying a 2.08 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 17 saves through the first half of the season.
The Rays do have a few noteworthy hurlers in their bullpen that should be able to carry them as the season progresses. That being said, they don't have a true fireballer and bullpen "ace" like that of Bell.
An addition of Bell would work wonders for the Rays as they attempt to combat the Red Sox and Yankees late in the season.
Chicago White Sox
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The White Sox have utilized a plethora of relievers this season, but are much too dependent on the arms of Jesse Crain and Matt Thorton.
If Ozzie Guillen and Company expect to make a run at the AL Central title in the second half of the season, they'll need to pull the trigger on Bell to shore things up in the bullpen.
St. Louis Cardinals
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The Cardinals currently sit 17th overall in team ERA (3.96), but will need some bolstering to their bullpen if they are to hold off NL Central competition as the regular season closes out.
St. Louis doesn't truly have one dignified closer, and would be wise to pick up a capable arm such as Bell to team up with other top relievers such as Fernando Salas and Jason Motte.
If the Cards are able to pick up Bell, they would immediately become NL Central favorites, and would have enough depth to make a serious World Series run.