Pitcher Heath Bell has blossomed as an elite closer since his trade to the San Diego Padres from the New York Mets. He anchors the best bullpen in the league and he provides great leadership and enthusiasm in the clubhouse. He is in the final year of his contract but says the he wants to remain a Padre after the season.
"I really don’t want to go anywhere. I know [changing teams is] the nature of the business … the nature of the beast. But here is like family for me, the players and coaches. It’s hard to move to another family. I want to stay here for a long time. – Heath Bell"
The Padres and Bell’s agent are going to discuss a possible contract extension during the spring.
"My understanding is that [talks are] going to blossom during Spring Training. I’m not going to worry about it. My agents will come here in March and they’ll talk then. I like that we are going to talk. If we can get it done, great. If not, OK. But at least we are trying. – Bell"
The Padres bullpen is a huge reason for their success in 2010. If the starting pitcher was able to hand the bullpen the lead in the 7th inning, the bullpen took over the final 3 innings with Luke Gregerson, Mike Adams, and Bell to close out the game and get the win.
Hopefully we will be able to see Bell closing out games for the Padres for a few more seasons.