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While nearly everyone who is associated with and who follows the game of baseball expected 33-year-old closer Heath Bell to have a different zip code for the remainder of the 2011 season, he remains a resident of the 92101.
ESPN's Buster Olney discussed the curious case of Bell last week and brought up some points worth nothing.
For the Padres to receive compensatory draft pick compensation should Bell leave and sign with another team in the offseason, they would need to offer him arbitration, something that Bell has already said he would accept.
One NL executive speculated to Olney that Bell could emerge from an arbitration hearing with a $13 million to $14 million salary, one that would essentially become an albatross for the Padres, a team on a tight budget.
With that said, trading Bell now and receiving something of value in return makes sense for San Diego. Bell has already stated his desire to remain a Padre and there is a good chance the team would be able to re-sign him in the offseason.
Jon Heyman tweeted last week that NL execs did not believe Bell would clear waivers, forcing the Padres to deal with the claiming team who had the highest waiver priority.
National League teams who would certainly have interest include the Arizona Diamondbacks, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies.
I would expect the Atlanta Braves to show interest as well, as acquiring Bell would lessen the workload of their talented rookie relievers Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel.