For Whom the Bell Tolls?

19 Mar

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Apparently the Twins are still considering acquiring Heath Bell from the Padres. In his three years as a Padres reliever, he has gone 18-14 with 44 saves and a 2.72 ERA. Of course, 42 of those saves came just last year when he was also 6-4 with a 2.71 ERA. I guess the Padres have been asking the world for the already-32 year old righty. So basically, he’s got about a half-year more closer experience than Jon Rauch who spent half of a season as the Nationals’ closer.

But anyway, apparently the Twins are still considering Bell. So my question today is “What would you give up for him?” The Padres would want a speedy outfielder and pitching in return.


  • The name we hear reported most is Ben Revere. He definitely meets the ‘speedy’ criteria. He is a high batting average, low power, young outfielder with a lot of improvement still to make in the outfield, particularly his lack of arm strength.
  • The Twins would not trade Aaron Hicks for anything, especially not a 65-70 inning guy.
  • Angel Morales is a guy I personally would not even consider for a relief pitcher. Although he is probably better suited for right-field, he has the speed to play centerfield as well.
  • Joe Benson is a guy with as much upside as any of the above. He finally came into his own last year a little bit, even with the unfortunate hand injury in the middle of the season. At Ft. Myers, he hit a.285 and was on base 41.4% of the time. Behind Revere, there is probably not a faster player in the Twins system. At 22, he could be ready for a true breakout season.
  • Rene Tosoni is another Twins minor league outfielder who I’ve got in my Top 10 Twins prospects. But I really think that he is a corner outfielder. I do think that he could be a big league contributor in 2010.


  • Glen Perkins – The lefty’s name was brought up in rumors involving Kevin Kouzmanoff. Just a year ago, he was in the Twins starting rotation. In a huge ball park, his fly ball tendencies could be less of an issue and he could become a very solid starting pitcher there.
  • Anthony Swarzak, Jeff Manship, Brian Duensing – Other Twins starting pitching options. Duensing was huge for the Twins during the final six weeks last season and could start 2010 in the bullpen thanks to the re-emergence of Francisco Liriano. Swarzak and Manship are both still young with some upside who could be coveted by other teams.
  • Rob Delaney – The Twins sent him down already, but the reliever has been impressive since signing as a non-drafted free agent after the 2006 draft. He could essentially replace Bell in the San Diego bullpen. He is six years younger.

Alexi Casilla seems to have the Twins utility infielder spot despite being bad. Matt Tolbert has just been worse. Since Casilla is out of options, would you add him to a package for Bell. Do you think a package of Joe Benson, Glen Perkins and Alexi Casilla is too much? I do. Would you consider trading Revere straight up for Bell? How about selling high on Luke Hughes or Juan Portes after their solid performances in camp? What are your thoughts on Heath Bell and what would you trade to acquire him? If you would like, you can e-mail me, or feel free to leave your comments here.


34 Responses to “For Whom the Bell Tolls?”

  1. Bob March 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    I would make a hard push for Bell if I were the Twins GM. Just feel that they have a decent chance to win it all this year & if Mauer refuses to be reasonable could be last chance for a while. I think Perkins has to be included on any deal – what his value is is unclear (wasn’t enough for Kozmanhof) so probably have to include either Revere or Angel Morales. Each of whom would be a high price. If you can get it done with Perkins, and two of the following: Slama, Delaney, Tosoni, Hughes, Swarzak, Manship, Portes I think you have to do the deal ASAP.

  2. Bill@TDS March 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    If they trade Revere for Bell, everyone involved in the organization should be fired. Even the owners. Even the security guys. I don’t care. You just don’t trade an actual prospect for a relief pitcher. Run Rauch out there and like it.

  3. Bob March 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Revere is going to be a DH at the MLB level – can’t throw. Send him away while the value is high – Got Hicks and Morales anyway – which are better outfield prospects.

  4. Bill@TDS March 19, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    A throwing arm is the least important thing about being an outfielder. With his speed, he could be a damn good CF or the best LF in the majors with essentially no arm at all. And his value isn’t that high…

  5. dwthegreat March 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    What it comes down to is the Twins can’t sell the farm but they need a good closer. Bell is 32. We would get a year or two out of him. Package Tolbert, Perkins and an OF not named Revere, Hicks or Morales. What about sending Ramos?

    • Funkytown March 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

      Do not trade Ramos.

      I dunno why San Diego would consider a junk package for a stud closer at this time of the year.

  6. jjswol March 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    I would trade Ben Revere for Heath Bell in a heart beat. The need for a closer is obvious with Nathan just a day or 2 away from declaring that he will undergo TJ surgery. Why trade Revere? The reason you trade Revere is because he is now at peak value. The man has no arm, and is a no power/speed center fielder. Span is the Twins center fielder for the foreseeable future. I see no way the Twins would ever play Span and Revere in the same outfield anyway, why would you want two light hitting outfielders with weak arms patrolling the outfield? That won’t happen, so trade Revere now for a closer that your team needs desperately. Sure we have a reliever we could move into the closer role but why would you want to take one of your set-up guys and weaken that position too? If San Diego wants Revere, give them Revere and take the deal before they change their mind. The Twins have a very strong team with a hole at closer, fill it with Bell and the quicker the better. You would be doing Revere a favor too by moving him to a team where he can play.

  7. Michael Licari March 19, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    Long time reader, first post. The Twins have depth at two positions: OF and pitcher. You cannot trade Hicks or Morales for anyone! I think Revere is a bit overrated as a prospect. He can hit for average and has speed but I have heard terrible things about his arm and he has little power. Hicks and Morales are 5 tool stars in waiting. Add in Joe Benson (who may be heading toward bust status if he doesn’t pick it up) and thats three OFers for the future. The poster who mentioned Ramos should be shot. Throw in Revere straight up or add Perkins to the deal. DO NOT SELL THE FARM FOR HEATH BELL THOUGH.

  8. 8th inning guy March 19, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    I would trade Revere for bell in a second. With span signed we have him to play centerfield for the next 5 years. I’ve never seen Revere play much but scouts project him with very little power. Do you want a player with little power playing a corner outfield position? Replacing Nathan with quality is essential to win a world series. Many of the Twins bloggers are in denial over this. Rarely do teams go deep in the play offs without domoinant late inning relief. only kieth faulke,franklin come to mind. How many world series would atlanta have won in the 90’s with a great closer? Hicks, morales, and ramos have too much power upside at this point to trade.

  9. Bryz March 19, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    I would not trade for Bell, period. Before you question why, let me explain myself. I love Bell, and I really would want him in a Twins uniform. However, I see the Padres asking for more than what the Twins would be willing to give up, especially when Bell is already older than 30. I’d be fine with trading away Revere, but I see the Padres asking for Anthony Slama and Rob Delaney as well. Closers are overvalued, and as long as they are, a team that is selling one will demand far more than what he’s actually worth. I think the Twins should just stick with their in-house options for now.

  10. pfglines March 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    I would rather keep Hicks and Morales then Revere. If all of the top outfield prospects end up around where they’re being projected. I would want Span in LF, Hicks in CF, Morales in RF in 2012/13ish. In my opinion if Span is locked up here until 2015/16 then there is no room for Revere. Revere most likely will beat the other two to the majors by about a year, and Benson/ Tononi can fill his spot if Cuddyer isn’t here in 2012 if Revere is dealt.

  11. Gamer March 19, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Span will move to LF or RF when/IF Revere is ready. Revere would have a lot more value as a switch hitter.

    In all honesty, Span and Revere have very similar skill sets. Revere runs better, but so did Carlos Gomez and Jason Tyner, and they never got the green light to run on this team.

    My biggest question if Bell is the best they can get. Would they be able to get somebody else better at a later date for Revere?

    But after some thought, this is John Smiley for Midre Cummings and Denny Nagal time. This is a chance to contend. If Health Bell is the best they can get, they must pull the trigger.

    • pfglines March 19, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

      I agree with you that if Revere were anything but LH hitter he would be a good fit,(could bat him 2nd) but hes is LH and so is our lead off hitter who is one of the best in the game. So the best thing to do with him is trade him. and right now the only need on this team is closer. So find the best available closer, package Revere with a pitcher, Perkins or who ever.

  12. JA March 19, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    I truely do not see a huge concern here. Slama is ready for a role in the pen, and Burnett is close. Along with Guerrier, Crain, Mijares, Neshak, and Condrey, with Rauch closing, the Twins will be fine. As for Heath Bell, he’s a fine pitcher, but in no way do I give up Revere, Hicks, Ramos, Valencia, Slama, Burnett as well as a few others. He has some good value, but at 32 with 2 years and around 10 million coming to him over that time, let’s not go too crazy. Of course there is the Perkins, Casilla, Swarzak, Manship group they can pick from as well as a Tosoni, Parmelee, Morales, Benson group. My guess some combination of 1 from each group. Say Tosoni & Perkins.

    • Funkytown March 19, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

      Gardy has started calling Slama Slamma Jamma.

      He needs to have Slama start facing some veteran hitters earlier in the ST games.
      Condrey has been hit hard his last couple outings, and no lefty has established anything worth a hoot for the final bullpen job(if nathan is on the dl/out for the season).

  13. Funkytown March 19, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    Benson could have had more value if he just wouldn’t have lost his temper and banged his hand on a wall in frustration last year.

    Big year for him.

  14. Allan March 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    If Revere had any kind of an arm, this would be different. But he doesn’t, which makes the Bensons and the Hicks and the Morales a more valuable commodity. Nor does Revere project to match up in the numbers. If the Padres want him, Revere should be available, even with the addition of a Perkins.

    With the opening of Target Field, all the cards should be on the table. Bell makes sense from the get go. Not after spending a month or two playing eenie meenie miney mo with the ninth inning. I’ll take Heath Bell for Ben Revere and Glen Perkins. No question.

  15. TT March 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    I think people are underestimating Revere. He is a potential batting champion with gap power and outstanding speed. And they are overestimating Heath Bell. He isn’t a savior. But I doubt San Diego makes a deal straight up for Revere. There is just too much risk with only one guy in the deal.

  16. Mike March 19, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    Make the trade: Bell for Revere/Perkins. We need a proven closer if we are serious about making a run.

  17. Jack Steal March 19, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    There is risk in every trade because you never know what to expect. Who would of thought Johan Santana’s career would be over by 31 because of elbow problems. I have been quoted as saying “I would not trade outfielder Ben Revere for anybody right now” but if you could get a very good closer like Heath Bell for him and Perkins you have to pull the trigger. We have depth at the outfield position in the minors and Span is signed for the next 5 years. We have a great chance of winning it all this year but the closer is our achilles heel.

  18. TT March 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    “Who would of thought Johan Santana’s career would be over by 31”

    Who would think so now?

    “We need a proven closer if we are serious about making a run.”

    Nathan wasn’t a proven closer when he took the job. Heath Bell wasn’t a proven closer until after last season. I think the Twins have several internal candidates. If they can get Bell at a reasonable price, great. But I don’t think he is worth Revere and Perkins. Trading away young players for aging players is not the way to win a world series.

  19. Matt from DC March 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    First off, how do the Twins replace Joe Nathan? Unless Mariano Rivera is available they can’t. I’m not impressed by any of the names that are being tossed around. If they can get Heath Bell for a couple B level prospects than go ahead and do it, but let’s not overvalue him. Yeah, he converted a lot of saves last year, but that was in the National League West. I wouldn’t give any more for Bell than we did for Jeff Reardon (was it Neal Heaton and Jeff Reed??? whatever happened to Heaton?)

  20. Juanie March 19, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    “The Twins would not trade Aaron Hicks for anything…”

    Why not? Sure he has a lot of upside, but he has not shown the organization a darn thing (as far as numbers go) in his short time in the minors. If the Twins can deal him for a potential #1 or 2 starter, why wouldn’t they? That would be far more valuable to this team right now than a guy who could potentially help the team in 2013. Upside doesn’t mean anything until its realized. Remember David West, Matt Moses, Chris Parmalee, this list could go on forever (especially if I knew prospects for other teams).

  21. 8th inning guy March 19, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Bell is 32. The internal candidates I presume you mean rauch and guerrier are 31. regardless of who saves the game, nathan’s effectiveness and quality have to be replaced the best way possible. You cant trade horsecrap and expect to get pumpkin pie. Okay, maybe if perkins was in the deal that would be false.

  22. Jack Steal March 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm #


    Did you see the second-half of 2010 for Johan Santana he was terrible. He had surgery on his left elbow in the off-season and has gotten lit up liker a Christmas tree in spring training so far. Ok it’s only spring training, but I believe his left elbow is still bothering him.

  23. 8th inning guy March 19, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    jack steal, you know and understand the twins major league ball club better than almost all other bloggers, beat writers, ect. I’m a big fan your podcast. If the twins were to trade revere who in the world replace span if he was out a month?

  24. Justin D. March 20, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    Hi Seth,

    Have you ever done a Q&A with Loek Van Mil? I couldn’t find one. He’s a guy you don’t see every day. and I’m curious about what he has to say about things.

    GRTZ Justin

    St. Paul, MN

  25. Rick March 20, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    Valencia can’t get the time of day from the Twins. Putting Tolbert, Punto, or Casilla for the 25th spot is just further evidence. I see no point in keeping him so he can play AAA. I saw several of his games in the last 2 weeks, and sat near some guys that appeared to be serious scouts. Acccording to their conversations that I overheard, he’d be on the 25 man for several other clubs, and has trade value. Why not get some value from him now. After all with Punto and Harris around they’re not going to bring him up in 2010, and 2011 is long way away.

  26. Jack Steal March 20, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    8th Inning Guy,

    Thanks very much for the compliment. You make a great point but you have to pick your poison. I would rather have an effective closer than a solid 5th outfielder any day of the week. In a perfect world, the Twins would have both positions covered. You remember last year when the bullpen struggled in the 7th and 8th innings and you were thinking to yourself just get the game to the 9th inning because Nathan will save it. Well for anyone who has already forgotten, now we have nobody in the 9th inning to shut the door and it is a serious problem. Without a solid closer we will not win the division and the Twins front office is not willing to chance it after spending a record $96 million on payroll. I expect a move of some kind to help out the pen. Jason Frasor would be a nice move and it would not cost as much. However, he is not as good as Heath Bell.

  27. Ryan Hangartner March 20, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Wow, I was watching a few spring training games this year and was most impressed by Juan Portes over everyone else! That guy is a stud. Hopefully we will see him in the line up soon!

  28. UpNorthNut March 20, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    The Twins got burned last year trying to use pitchers out-of-position. I don’t thing the major-league roster in-house candidates should be pulled from their roles. If Slama is not ready, get Bell. Like many have said before SELL HIGH on Revere. The high batting average is not a given at the major-league level. The + speed and – arm are more certain. He will be a role player, not a star. The role the Twins need to fill now, is a closer, not a AAA backup CF.

  29. mike wants wins March 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Closers=over rated. Bell has had how many good years as a closer? What are his stats outside the best pitcher’s park in AAAA (aka, the national league)? Why trade Revere for a guy that will pitch 70 innings this year? Why not trade him for a 2B/3B prospect? I don’t get the obsession with names. OTOH, I’m not convinced Revere is anything special (unless his D improves to match his speed). If he could field like his speed indicates he could, you are all under-estimating him. The number one way to score runs is to get on base. Number one. Numero Uno. And, Revere has shown he knows how to get on base.

    Casilla, he’s proven he stinks. He stinks as a hitter. He stinks as a defender. I have no idea why they want to keep him on a roster that is supposedly WS ready….

  30. Don March 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    I like Slama but he may be a year away as our closer and we probably need someone effective this year. I’d trade Perkins, Casilla, and Benson for Bell because they’re superfluous. We wouldn’t miss them unless benson somehow blossoms. Never trade Ramos. Revere seems to have some pizzaz like Kirby had, and could be big in future, so wouldn’t trade him unless its someone better and younger than Bell. I don’t see Nathan being a factor this year or next.

  31. Juanie March 20, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    Mike Wants Wins, I agree with you that closers are so overrated. I absolutely hate the save statistic. Why would you save your best reliever, who is probably the 2nd or 3rd best pitcher on your team, to pitch the ninth inning with the game on the line in the 7th or 8th inning and run another reliever, who may be 7th or 8th best pitcher on your team, out to pitch with the game on the line?

    Let me provide an example. Suppose you are the Yankees playing Tampa Bay. It’s the 7th inning, and C. C. Sabathia has allowed both Bartlett and Crawford to reach 1st and 2nd with only one out in a 1-run game. Would you rather have Mariano Rivera face Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena, and possibly Ben Zobrist, or would you rather have him face the 8, 9, and 1 hitters in the 9th while Phil Hughes or David Robertson and company take the 7th and 8th?

    This is really a no-brainer to me. Your best reliever should pitch the most important parts of the 7th, 8th, or 9th.

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