Blog Entry

Marlins sign Heath Bell

Posted on: December 1, 2011 11:09 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 12:55 pm
Heath Bell

By Matt Snyder

So you thought all that talk of the Marlins wining and dining players was just for show, huh? Well, the first domino has fallen. The newly-named Miami Marlins have signed All-Star closer Heath Bell to a three-year, $27 million contract, sources have confirmed to The deal is pending a physical, which will happen Friday. There is a vesting option for a fourth year.

For good measure, Ozzie Guillen Jr., son of the Marlins new skipper, tweeted that he's celebrating the signing with his father. And now he's slightly backing off ... meaning Ozzie Sr. probably told him he shouldn't have tweeted it out. Fun times.

Bell, 34, has been an All-Star the past three seasons as the Padres closer. He had 43 saves in 48 chances with a 2.44 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings last season. He has 132 saves over the past three seasons, which is the most in baseball over that time span. The Marlins had an obvious hole at the back-end of their bullpen after Juan Oviedo revealed he'd been using a fake name (Leo Nunez) for years and was placed on the restricted list. There wasn't another ready-made closer left on the roster. And let's be frank, "Nunez" was a pretty lackluster closer anyway.

New-look Marlins
Bell had stated many times he'd prefer to stay in San Diego, but the club seemed pretty lukewarm on signing him to a multi-year deal. And a few weeks ago, Bell said he has a home in Florida. So this was a good fit. It simply didn't seem like the Padres wanted Bell around anymore while the Marlins needed to start making a splash in free agency before their fans started to believe all these tours and reported offers were simply window dressing.

Maybe Jose Reyes is next? Hard to tell just yet, but the Marlins have accomplished at least one offseason goal: They now have a bona fide closer.

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Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: December 4, 2011 8:58 am

Marlins sign Heath Bell

Solid pickup by the fish. Although I am not a fan of Primmadonna Reyes, Guillen will most certainly keep him and "Baby Manny" Hanley in check.

Since: Feb 19, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 12:11 am

Marlins sign Heath Bell

bell wasn't exactly lights out last year. 5 blown saves, countless other crappy 9th innings, and really low strikeout numbers. talk about overpaying.

Since: Feb 13, 2008
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:10 pm

Marlins sign Heath Bell

Way to go Marlins.  You have a ton of holes on the roster to fill and you start by blowing your load on a closer, the last piece a team in need of work should concentrate on.  The payroll is sitting around $62 mil now and that is before going to arbitration with key players like Hensley, Mujica, Badenhop, Anibal Sanchez, and Bonifacio.  The latter two should see significant salary increases.  If they are actually serious about signing one of these big name free agents they will go way over their projected $80 mil salary.  Just more smoke up the asses of Marlins fans.     

Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: December 3, 2011 2:52 pm

Marlins sign Heath Bell

Good job trying to be Washington!  A new stadium and a couple over-paid players doesn't get you crap!  Looks like the government is investigating the whole stadium deal......have fun down there!

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: December 3, 2011 11:17 am

Marlins sign Heath Bell

Watch out league... here come the Marlins.  Marlins #1.

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: December 3, 2011 7:47 am

Marlins sign Heath Bell

Here's how sad things have gotten in San Diego.  All major professional teams suck. 
Padre ownership is a joke, and Chargers ownership has no guts and Smith and Turner
need to go.  Wish Padre ownership were on the same flight 337 out of here. 

Our biggest sports team right now is our College Aztec teams in Football and Basketball.
Haven't said that in a long time.  Fisher thanks for saving the San Diego fans, even in
a rebuilding year you get the most out of a team.

Since: Apr 21, 2008
Posted on: December 3, 2011 3:51 am

Marlins sign Heath Bell

This could turn out to be pretty shrewd on behalf of the Marlins' ownership.  Throw the fan base a bone by paying out for a big name, but in reality you're saving 100-150 million by then feeling less compelled to make a splash on Reyes or Pujols.

I would not be too surprised if this is the only big move they make this offseason.

Since: Sep 17, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2011 2:19 pm

Marlins sign Heath Bell

After 3 solid years as closer, I think Bell is starting to lose some steam. The Padres did the right thing moving him before the wheels fall off. Can't believe he goes to the Marlins though, I thought they were assembling the all-hispanic team. I guess they need at least one gringo eh? LA FLAMA BLANCA!

Since: Aug 2, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2011 2:19 pm

Marlins sign Heath Bell

A great move by the Fish!! Now they will land Reyes and they will end up being the team to beat in then NL if Josh Johnson can come back and pitch like he was when he was Mowing the other side down. They are going to be a really good team and I think they will add 2-3 more players as well. But Bell is as solid as you get as a closer.

Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:55 pm

Marlins sign Heath Bell

Wine and dine, but never sign.  Whoa.  As a Marlin fan in the 954 I've always (and still am) on the weary side when the Fish bring a big name into town.  I know Albert and Prince and Mark and Jose are all for show.  But it shows that the the Big Three (Loria, Samson and Beinfest) are doing their due diligence.  They're throwing us a bone.  I get it.  But to land a top notch closer, albeit 34, gives me an inkling of hope that they mean business. 

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