- Associated Press - Sunday, October 21, 2012

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 Miami 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.

Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said Bell provides a right-handed power arm to help set up Putz, and Pennington adds experience at shortstop and second base.

Towers, who was the general manager in San Diego when Bell was the setup man for Trevor Hoffman, believes the pitcher will benefit from a return to the NL West.

“I think he’s excited to kind of be able to clean the slate,” Towers said.

Bell’s contract calls for a $9 million salary 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 isn’t automatically Eaton‘s. Gerardo Parra and A.J. Pollock also will compete for the spot.

Young will be reunited with Bob Melvin, who was his manager in Arizona.

“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 talk to Billy (Beane) and got to talk to (Melvin). I’m excited to help. It’s a new opportunity, a fresh start for me personally.”

The 28-year-old Pennington played in 125 games for the AL West champion A’s this season. He had 93 appearances at shortstop but was shifted to second base in August. A switch-hitter, Pennington hit .215 this year _ 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.”

Towers said he believes Pennington can be an everyday shortstop, plus fill in behind Aaron Hill at second base. The team also has Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald at shortstop.

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