Would the Padres be upset if Heath Bell accepted arbitration this offseason, which would deny them two compensatory draft picks in 2012? No, a Padres official told this blog, because a one-year deal for the All-Star closer wouldn't be such a bad thing for the club. Although Bell's arbitration-enhanced salary likely would be budget unfriendly, the Padres wouldn't have to pay all of it if they traded Bell in 2012, the official said.
Does that sound attractive to you? Not me, either. But it probably doesn't sound so hot to Bell, either.
Meantime, word comes today that the Giants have won a waiver claim on Bell. The Padres still can retain the Loveable Kook and seem likely to do so. It appears the Giants were trying to block Bell from going to either the Diamondbacks or Phillies. (Coincidentally, it was about this time last year that the Giants put in a claim on Cody Ross to keep him from going to the Padres. See the post two below this one for more details about how that played out.) For what it's worth, the Giants inquired about Bell a month ago while they were at Petco Park. Maybe it was just out of curiosity. One also wonders whether they had concerns then about closer Brian Wilson, who recently was derailed by an arm ailment.