Angels' offer to Heath Bell not enough to lure closer
Former San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell confirmed Monday that the Angels did make him a contract offer, but despite his preference to remain in Southern California, it wasn't enough to lure the veteran right-hander away from the Miami Marlins, who signed him to a three-year, $27-million deal with a fourth-year option.
"The Angels did make an offer," Bell said after his introductory news conference at the winter meetings. "It was a situation where I wanted to be in some place for multiple years. I'm a huge guy in the community. I wanted to do as much as I can to help the organization out. I don't think in one or two years you can do that. I think you can put your stamp on something in three, four years."
[UPDATE 4 p.m.: Angels say they did not make Bell and offer.]
Bell said he received offers from four or five other teams, including the Boston Red Sox, and that a few of the offers — though not the one from Boston — were for more money than he got from the Marlins.
But a new stadium in downtown Miami and an aggressive ownership group that has reportedly agreed to terms with free-agent shortstop Jose Reyes to a six-year, $106-million deal and is pursuing slugger Albert Pujols, pitchers C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle, persuaded Bell to take his talents to South Beach.
"I thought Miami was the best fit for me all-around," said Bell, who saved 132 games for the Padres over the past three seasons. "The team has a new name, a new stadium ... there's a lot of buzz in Miami right now. You can see ownership wants to win and put a great organization together, not just for this year but for many years beyond."
— Mike DiGiovanna in Dallas
Photo: Heath Bell at the news conference announcing he will sign with the Marlins. Credit: Matthew Emmons / US Presswire.