According a major league source, the Red Sox did show interest in closer Heath Bell, engaging in conversations with the reliever's representatives prior to Bell's reported agreement with the Miami Marlins.
The 34-year-old Bell, who is close friends with Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, has agreed to a three-year deal with the Marlins that would be worth $9 million per season with a vesting option for a fourth year. It is being reported that Bell will be in Miami to take his physical Friday.
According to the source, the Red Sox weren't prepared to match Miami's commitment to Bell partly due to concerns over a perceived dip in stuff -- his strikeout rate per nine innings dropped from 11.1 in 2010 to 7.3 in '11 -- and the fact the reliever's success has come while pitching home games in pitching-friendly Petco Park. (It should be noted that, according to Fangraphs.com, despite the drop in strikeout rate Bell's fastball velocity has remained relatively the same over the past four seasons.)
The right-hander finished '11 converting 43 of 48 save opportunities, finishing with a 2.44 ERA. He has saved 42 or more games in each of the past three seasons.
Bell is the third free agent closer to reach a deal this offseason, following Jonathan Papelbon's four-year, $50 million agreement with the Phillies, and the two-year contract for $14 signed by Joe Nathan with Texas.
At the recent general managers meetings, some of Bell's former GM's talked about the value of the reliever:
"He's done it for several years. He has the makeup, embraces the role, has replaced Trevor Hoffman," said San Diego GM Josh Byrnes. "I think in the NL West the lineups may not be as tough as the AL East, but you play a lot of 3-2, 4-3 games and closers become a big part of winning. It takes a physical toll for six months, and he's used to it. Being a closer in the NL West is not like the AL East because you're not facing the lineups, but for sixth months every night is a low-scoring, close game."
"He’s got huge guts. I think that’s the most important thing with a closer," said Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer, Bell's GM the last two season in San Diego. "He never shied away. He can pitch four and five days in a row and maintain his velocity. I have no doubt he would transition very well. He never had any problems in interleague. He never had any problems on the road if you look at his home/road splits. That’s not something I worry about."
"To me, it’s really here," said Arizona (and former Padres) GM Kevin Towers, pointing to his to head. "The more I’ve watched great closers, the ones that are tough mentally, want to be out there, you can’t tell, they’re not breathing hard. Hoffman was like [Greg] Maddux as a starter. Or Mo Rivera. You can’t tell if it’s bases loaded, no one out. That’s a gift. That’s an incredible gift.
"Now, he’s been in a couple All-Star games. He pitched in New York for a while. He was young then and probably learned a lot pitching in a big market at a young age. I’m sure he’s comfortable at Petco [Park] and it’s a great park to pitch in, but he’s pitched in a lot of tough ballparks around baseball and been effective. I don’t think he would have any problem pitching with a large market club where there may be added pressure. Who knows? Once you get the big contract, people might react differently. He’s never had the big, big contract, but my sense is that he’d be fine."
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Rob Bradford is joined by both Lou Merloni and Curt Schilling to discuss the recent controversy involving Manny Machado, Dustin Pedroia, Matt Barnes and their respective teams. The two former major leagues offer insight to how baseball handles (and should handle) hitting batters as an act of revenge, with their own stories of involving similar situations as the one that unfolded in Baltimore. They also break down the decision to take Chris Sale out of his last start after eight innings. The former pitcher and batter cover it all from every angle.
John Tomase gives his acceptance speech for winning the 2017 Kirk and Callahan NC-Double A-hole tournament.
Hour 4. Crazy Al calls in for the second day in a row. A terrible caller tries to make a point. The Arkansas inmates had interesting last meals. Tomase’s epic acceptance speech.
Cyd Ziegler, of Outsports, says it isn’t right to talk ab out Hernandez’s sexuality.
HOUR 4 - The guys talked about Magic Johnson "tampering" with Paul George on Jimmy Kimmel, a potential Jae Crowder for Carmelo Anthony trade, Isaiah Thomas' growth as a playoff performer, and we ended the show with John Tomase's A-Hole acceptance speech.
Hour 3 - The guys review the remarks Dustin Pedroia made about siding with his teammates years ago compared to his lack of having Matt Barnes back. Lou has a stern response to David Price’s “Twitter Press Conference.” News breaks that Rondo may be able to play in game 6.
Hour 2 - Glenn, Lou, and Christian review at the Patriots busy backfield and debate on who will make the team, and why they didn’t value LaGarrette Blount anymore. The guys examine the Bart Hubbuch Deadspin article on Kraft being on the board of directors of private-equity Apollo Global Management, which is linked to Caesars.
The article didn't actually reveal anything that wasn't already public record, but the Globe "expose" on Brady and his relationship with the Best Buddies charity certainly has everybody around here talking about it.
We spend some time talking Sox as news of the rain cancellation comes down. A few more thoughts on the spat in Baltimore and Dustin Pedroia, plus David Price takes to twitter for his "media session".
Dollar beer night in Houston!
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Rich Keefe & Uncle Buck (Boston Sports 101) talk about the greatest comic book writer of all-time, Alan Moore. They look at his best works including Watchmen, From Hell, V for Vendetta, Batman: The Killing Joke and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Plus they rank the movies he has inspired (and refused to watch).
Keefe, Holley, and Ben talk about how the Celtics tied their series with the Bulls after a terrible start, why Gerald Green is starting and making an impact, and where is Jaylen Brown?
Christian Fauria and Dr Gill talk about the beginning of the Baseball season. Why players need as much time as they do to get ready for the season, and what they should be doing in their offseason.
Danny talks about the Red Sox and Orioles game and the fireworks in the 8th inning when Matt Barnes threw at Manny Machado. Pedroia was shown talking to Machado saying he wouldn't have thrown at his head and Danny wants to know how bad does this make Pedroia look throwing a teammate under the bus.More from this show
Hour 4. Crazy Al calls in for the second day in a row. A terrible caller tries to make a point. The Arkansas inmates had interesting last meals. Tomase’s epic acceptance speech.More from this show
Hour 1. Mut joins Kirk and Gerry. The guys can’t believe neither Boston newspaper covered the Hernandez sexuality story. Over the weekend, the Globe’s Bob Hohler wrote a slanted piece about Tom Brady’s work with charity.More from this show
Hour 4. The guys think the Globe was looking for more with Brady, possibly a Trump connection. Crazy Al joins the show multiple times.More from this show
Hour 1. Tomase, Gerry, and Kirk discuss the identity of Aaron Hernandez’s gay lover. Tanguay thinks Brady held up Best Buddies and Kirk agrees. Tomase investigated where Ortiz sends his charity’s money.More from this show