The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Report: Giants Claim Padres Closer Heath Bell

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    On Tuesday, Heath Bell slammed the door on the Giants in a 7-5 loss at home.

    On Wednesday, the Giants reportedly claimed the Padres closer off waivers, setting up a potential in-division move for one of the best closers in baseball.

    That's according to Buster Olney of ESPN, who also reports that Jim Thome and Jason Kubel have been claimed on waivers (don't sleep on the Giants there either, potentially).

    There's a major obstacle for Bell, however: the Giants actually have to trade something to the Padres in order to get him.

    Once claimed by San Francisco, the two teams can work out a deal and then exchange pieces. If a deal can't be reached, the Padres would pull Bell off of waivers.

    The move makes a lot of sense for the Giants, because Bell's an elite reliever and closer and Brian Wilson is on the disabled list with an elbow injury and Sergio Romo's not healthy either.

    An injured and/or bad bullpen on a team with no hitting and good starting pitching is a recipe for a lot of losses, which the Giants can't afford down the stretch.

    For the Padres part, one would think they simply have to be willing to get something in return for Bell as the season comes to a close -- he's a free agent after this season and just letting him walk seems like a waste, particularly if they can hijack a prospect from a division rival.

    There's also the possibility that the Giants are putting in claims on any player who's reasonably talented and could help the Diamondbacks -- San Francisco gets a shot at claiming players before Arizona as a result of their respective records and, as such, it's possible Brian Sabean simply wants to make sure the Snakes don't beef up their offense or pitching any further.

    For now, though, we have to assume the Giants will continue to push their chips further into the center of the table by making a play for Bell.