Will the Padres trade Heath Bell?
"I see them keeping him," a National League exec from outside the West said today.
In this blog last month, the same man said that if the Padres wanted to trade Bell by the Trade Deadline, they should seek a return close to the value of two compensatory picks in next year's draft, but not necessarily equal in value to those picks. The Padres, meantime, said they need to get value equal to or greater than those two picks.
Today, the exec suggested that the Padres' "asking price was probably too high, which wasn't surprising."
He added, "They were obviously weighing it against two draft picks, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But there's significant cost involved -- Bell's remaining salary, signing bonuses for the (two draftees in 2012), the value of letting another reliever close."
Further, it wasn't certain in July that the Padres would get the two draft picks if they kept Bell. Ploy or not, Bell has said he would accept arbitration if a multi-year deal can't be worked out.
The exec said he is a "bit surprised the Padres weren't more motivated to save money (by moving Bell) given what they are expected to spend in signing bonus money this year" for over-slot draftees. The Strategic Thinkers did save more than $3 million by trading Ryan Ludwick and Mike Adams, and Jed Hoyer has said the club folded into this year's draft budget the $2 million in savings from not signing top pick Karsten Whitson last year.