The Padres are not going to keep Heath Bell and settle for draft picks when he departs as a free agent. They are not going to use him to close meaningless games in the final two months of the season.
Bell will be traded Sunday before the non-waiver deadline at 4 p.m. ET, according to a source familiar with the Padres’ thinking. The Rangers remain the front-runner, the source said, but the Cardinals remain in the mix and the Phillies and Yankees are showing late interest.
The Padres will make two and possibly three trades Sunday, with Bell, outfielder Ryan Ludwick and right-hander Chad Qualls the most likely to move, according to the source.
Right-handed starter Aaron Harang is unlikely to be dealt – two teams that pursued him, the Tigers and Indians, acquired better starting pitchers on Saturday.
Right-handed setup man Mike Adams also is expected to stay in San Diego barring a strong late bid from one of his many suitors; Adams would replace Bell as the Padres’ closer.
— Ken Rosenthal