Trades Help Diamondbacks Beef Up Bullpen and Infield
The Arizona Diamondbacks bolstered their infield and bullpen after agreeing to trades with the Miami Marlins and the Oakland A's Saturday.
The Diamondbacks have traded outfielder Chris Young and $500,000 to the Athletics for shortstop Cliff Pennington and infield prospect Yordy Cabrera.
Then, Arizona worked a trade with the Marlins that sent Cabrera to Miami for former closer Heath Bell and undisclosed amount of cash. The Diamondbacks will pay $13 million of the $21 million that is still owed to Bell.
"We've addressed two needs today," D-backs executive vice president and general manager Kevin Towers said. "We knew we had an abundance of outfielders, and we wanted to add another strong arm in the pen, and we wanted to add some depth to the middle of the infield. We looked at the free agent market ... and what was available in trade, we felt Cliff was one of the better options we had."
The trade reunites Bell with Towers, who acquired Bell in December 2006 when he was the general manager of the San Diego Padres. Bell had his best years with the Padres, saving 42, 47 and 43 games from 2009-11.
That success had attracted the Marlins to sign Bell to a three-year, $27 million free-agent deal this past offseason.
Bell, however, struggled with the Marlins, losing his closer's job and finishing the season with a 5.09 ERA and 19 saves in 73 appearances. He also had a public falling out with Miami manager Ozzie Guillen in September.
"In my mind, as well as I know him since the velocity is still good and he's still got the good rotation on the breaking ball, I think changing scenery and getting back into hopefully a comfortable environment for him, I think he'll be strong," Tower said of Bell.
Bell is likely to pitch in the seventh inning for the Diamondbacks with David Hernandez the primary eighth inning guy and J.J. Putz staying as closer.
The 28-year-old Pennington is expected to help Arizona improve its depth at shortstop with the departure of Stephen Drew, who was dealt to the A's in August. He will join Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald at the position.
"Playing against those guys this year, obviously a team that I thought was really talented and thought had a lot of potential and to be able to join that team now and go forward, I'm really excited about the chance to win some ballgames and get back to the postseason and play some fun games," Pennington said.
With a crowded outfield composed of Justin Upton, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra, Adam Eaton and rookie A.J. Pollock, the D-Backs are expected to make another trade involving an outfielder.
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