MLB Trade Rumors: Are the Toronto Blue Jays Looking for a Closer?

Jeff WahlCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2011

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 11:  National League All-Star Heath Bell #21 of the San Diego Padres carries a large bat to the field during the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby at Chase Field on July 11, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

According to a post on FOX Sports' by Ken Rosenthal, the Toronto Blue Jays have made inquiries about current San Diego Padres Closer Heath Bell.

Earlier reports out of Toronto had them shopping their relievers—and now they're looking to acquire one? 

This actually makes sense as Toronto has the second-worst save percentage in the American League and acquiring Heath Bell would go a long way to fixing that.

The caveat here (actually, there are several) is that Bell is an unrestricted free agent after the season, so Toronto would be renting the big closer during a 2011 campaign that seems lost at this point. Having said that, the Jays would also have an opportunity to show Bell that Toronto is a top notch organization in a world class city.

If Bell were to decide to sign elsewhere after the season, then Toronto would receive two draft picks as compensation. Bell is a Type A free agent, so whoever signs him would cough up their own first rounder and the league would award the Jays with a sandwich pick as well. Hence Toronto could recoup the losses they incurred in the trade.

Speaking of which, who would be part of a deal for Heath Bell?

I doubt that any current roster players would be included. My assumption is that this would be strictly a prospect package and that it would require at least two to get it done. One player out of our top five and another from our top 15.

Some names to ponder include RHP Zach Stewart, RHP Chad Jackson, 1B Mike McDade, C Travis d'Arnaud, RHP Henderson Alvarez, 1B David Cooper or C A.J. Jiminez.

However, there are several teams in the playoff race that could easily panic and overpay, making any offer Toronto makes inadequate.

Considering the cost, this would be an incredibly risky move.  Over at The Score, fellow Jay scribe Dustin Parkes feels a trade for Bell wouldn't be worth it.  Citing his age and increased walk rate as major red flags.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of Heath Bell being traded to Toronto: Is it worth the gamble?


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