Miami Signs Closer Heath Bell For 3 Years, $27 Million | First Big Fish Signed, Won’t Be LastBy
According to ESPN Insider’s Jason A. Churchill, the Miami Marlins signed former San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell Thursday evening. The deal will span three years and pay the right-handed relief pitcher $27 million over the life of the deal. Bell should provide a huge boost to new manager Ozzie Guillen’s bullpen with the team according to sources, electing not be tender an offer the team’s former closer J.C. Oviedo/Leo Nunez.
The 33-year-old Bell is coming off a season where he saved 43 games for the Padres, turning in a sparkling 2.44 ERA to go along with a tidy 1.15 WHIP. Some of Bell’s success can be attributed to pitching half of his games in the pitcher-friendly dimensions of PETCO park, but the three-time All-Star has proven to be one of the game’s most reliable pitchers home or away in.
Bell figures to be just the first in a list of big names to be signed by Miami in the coming weeks. Although the Chicago Cubs have reached out to the agent of Albert Pujols, the Marlins still reportedly hold the highest bid in the Pujols sweepstakes, with an offer as high as 9 years, $225 million for the incumbent St. Louis Cardinals slugger. It’s unclear whether a marginal increase in salary, Miami’s Latino culture and Ozzie will be enough to enough to lure “The Machine” away from his home town Cardinals. That said, Miami remains a huge dark horse in the race to grab the MLB’s undisputed best and 2012′s biggest free agent prize.
Stay tuned Miami, more developments to come.
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