Heath Bell became the latest player jettisoned by the Marlins when he was dealt to the Diamondbacks, who also bought infielder Cliff Pennington from the Athletics for outfielder Chris Young.
Diamondbacks got Pennington and minor league infielder Yordy Cabrera from Athletics for Young and cash, and then sent Cabrera to the Marlins for Bell. The Miami Marlins will pay $8 million of the remaining $21 million Bell is owed.
Earlier on in the day, Diamondbacks exercised a $6.5 million option on closer J.J. Putz.
The 35-year-old Bell has 151 saves the past 4 seasons. He signed a $27 million, 3-year agreement with Miami last offseason but lost his closer’s job in July. He finished with 19 saves in 27 probabilities and a 5.09 ERA in 73 games.
After failing to say in the 1st season of their new ballpark, the Marlins traded former National League batting champion Hanley Ramirez to the L.A Dodgers in July and sent pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers.
Arizona GM Kevin Towers announced Bell gives a right-handed power arm to help set up Putz and Pennington adds experience at shortstop and 2nd base.
Towers, who was GM in San Diego when Bell was the set-up man for Trevor Hoffman, believes the pitcher will benefit from a return to the National League West.
“I think he’s excited to kind of be in a position to clean the slate,” Towers said.
Bell contract calls for $9 million in each one of the next 2 seasons and includes a $9 million club option for 2015. Marlins will pay $1.5 million next year, $3.5 million in 2014 and the $3 million deferred signing bonus he is owed.
Young, Arizona’s center fielder for 6 seasons, was the odd man out in an overcrowded outfield with the team expecting young Adam Eaton, called up from Triple-A Reno late this season, to play center and be the Diamondbacks’ leadoff hitter. But Towers said the job is automatically Eaton’s. Gerardo Parra and A.J. Pollock also will fight for the spot.
Pennington, 28, played in 125 games for the A’s. He had 93 appearances at shortstop but was shifted to 2nd base in last August. A switch hitter, Pennington hit .215 last season, including .168 against left-handers, and had 28 RBIs.
He said he thinks Pennington can be a frequent shortstop plus fill in behind Aaron Hill at 2nd. The team also has Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald at short. Baseball odds
Towers said that Bell might have been uncomfortable with his high-profile signing in the Miami make-over.
“Maybe a lot of it had to do with the pressure, his first big contact,” Towers said, adding that Bell “was really the 1st big signing” the Marlins had in the offseason.
The 29-year-old Young, a popular player in the Diamondbacks clubhouse, has had 3 20-homer, 20-steal seasons. He injured his right shoulder crashing into a wall while making a catch early this season and struggled at the plate after. A quadriceps injury in early September sent Young to the bench in favor of Eaton.