Towers said Bell might have been uncomfortable with his high-profile signing during the Miami makeover last winter.
“Maybe a lot of it had to do with the pressure, his first big contract,” Towers said, adding that Bell “was really the first big signing” the Marlins had in the offseason.
With considerable money invested in the bullpen, Towers said it’s particularly important to have a strong group of relievers while Arizona’s young starting rotation develops. He said Arizona still needs a late-inning left-handed reliever and perhaps a veteran starter.
This could be a sign Beane, the A’s general manager, might try to move center fielder Coco Crisp, who signed a $14 million, two-year contract in January that includes a $7.5 million club option for 2014 with a $1 million buyout. Beane, however, said he plans to keep Crisp, though he realized there would be speculation otherwise.
“I really like our outfield,” Beane said. “Everybody knows how important this guy is to this team and also has the benefit of being a personal favorite of mine.”
Oakland already acquired shortstop Stephen Drew from the Diamondbacks this season and he helped the Athletics down the stretch. The A’s overtook Texas on the final day of the regular season to win the division and returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. They lost in five games to the World Series-bound Detroit Tigers.
Beane said the day after the season ended he planned to keep his young team intact as much as possible. Last offseason, Oakland traded three top pitchers: Trevor Cahill to Arizona, Gio Gonzalez to Washington and closer Andrew Bailey to Boston.
The 29-year-old Young, a popular player in the Arizona clubhouse, has had three 20-homer, 20-steal seasons. He injured his right shoulder crashing into a wall while making a catch early this season and struggled at the plate afterward. A quadriceps injury in early September sent Young to the bench in favor of Eaton.
AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley and AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.