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Bell dealt to D-backs, who trade Young to Oakland
PHOENIX (AP) - Heath Bell became the latest player jettisoned by the Miami Marlins when he was dealt Saturday to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who also acquired infielder Cliff Pennington from the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Chris Young.
Arizona obtained Pennington and minor league infielder Yordy Cabrera from Oakland for Young and cash, then sent Cabrera to the Miami Marlins for Bell. The Marlins will pay $8 million of the remaining $21 million Bell is owed.
Earlier in the day, Arizona exercised a $6.5 million option on closer J.J. Putz.
The 35-year-old Bell has 151 saves the past four seasons. He signed a $27 million, three-year contract with Miami last offseason but lost his closer’s job in July. He finished with 19 saves in 27 chances and a 5.09 ERA in 73 games.
After failing to contend in the first season of their new ballpark, the Marlins traded former NL batting champion Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July and sent pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers.
“I think he’s excited to kind of be able to clean the slate,” Towers said.
Bell contract calls for $9 million in each of the next two seasons and includes a $9 million club option for 2015. Miami 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 six seasons, was the odd man out in a crowded 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 compete for the spot.
“It caught me off guard a little bit, I’m not going to lie,” Young said. “It’s all settled in a couple hours now. I got an opportunity to talked to Billy (Beane) and got to talk to BoMel. I’m excited to help. It’s a new opportunity, a fresh start for me personally.”
Pennington, 28, played in 125 games for the A’s. He had 93 appearances at shortstop but was shifted to second base in last August. A switch hitter, Pennington hit .215 last season, including .168 against left-handers, and had 28 RBIs.
“He had a down year. That happens. Guys have down years,” Towers said. “Heath had a down year. That’s why we were able to make these deals.”
He said he believes Pennington can be an everyday shortstop plus fill in behind Aaron Hill at second. The team also has Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald at short.
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