Possibile Reasons for Giants' Heath Bell Waiver Claim

Manny Randhawa@@MannyBal9Correspondent IIIAugust 24, 2011

Possibile Reasons for Giants' Heath Bell Waiver Claim

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    According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Giants have claimed San Diego Padres All-Star closer Heath Bell off waivers.

    With the Padres in town to face the Giants, and the move coming at a time when San Francisco's bullpen has been depleted by injury, the move has generated buzz about what the Giants' true intentions are with the claim.

    Here are some possibilities...

Block the Diamondbacks from Acquiring Bell

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    The Arizona Diamondbacks, currently leading the NL West by two games over the Giants, have shown that they intend to pull out all the stops in their push to get to the postseason.

    The D'Backs traded second baseman Kelly Johnson to the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday for infielders Aaron Hill and John McDonald.

    And they could very well have their eye on Heath Bell.

    The Giants have now blocked that possibility by claiming Bell before the D'Backs could.

Add Bell to the Bullpen Because of Injuries to Sergio Romo, Brian Wilson

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    Another possible reason the Giants have claimed Bell is that the injuries to Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson that have led to San Francisco's short-handed bullpen lately has cost the Giants in the win column, and the team is in need of relief help.

    If the Giants do intend to sign Bell, which could once again require parting with a top prospect or two (as with the Carlos Beltran trade in July), it could indicate that the injuries to either Romo or Wilson, or even both, are more serious than once thought.

Depending on Severity of Injuries, Giants Could Be Better off Not Signing Bell

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    Buster Olney has also reported that Cincinnati Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez has been placed on waivers.

    Hernandez is hitting .292 with 11 home runs and 33 RBI, with a .350 on-base percentage.

    While it may be difficult to claim him with other teams with worse win-loss records than the Giants able to make the move first, the Giants should consider other hitting prospects on the waiver market given San Francisco's offensive problems.

    These considerations depend, of course, on just how severe the injuries are to Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson, as San Francisco is ultra-dependent on its bullpen given the strenuous, tight nature of the types of games the Giants play in so frequently.