Gonzalez and Bell heading … nowhere?
WASHINGTON – Padres general manager Kevin Towers said he is getting a “ton of calls” from other teams regarding the availability of Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell, though he’s still opposed to making a deal involving either player.
Towers is a never-say-never kind of guy, which means he won’t come out and simply state that the Padres won’t deal Gonzalez or Bell, but at this point he’s not inclined to move his first baseman and closer as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline nears.
“You’re always need to listen, but it would have to be the right deal,” Towers said.
Towers wouldn’t go into specifics but stated that he’s held conversations with several opposing general managers in recent weeks about the two All-Stars. Unless Towers is floored by a proposal, Gonzalez and Bell aren’t going anywhere.
“I’m actually getting more calls on Heath than Adrian,” Towers said. “That’s because most clubs are looking for strength in the bullpen.”
Towers said the conversations he’s had with other teams could prove valuable if during the offseason the Padres reconsider moving Gonzalez or Bell.
“If nothing happens, it’s useful in the offseason,” Towers said.
Gonzalez, 27, is a two-time All-Star who has been linked to the Boston Red Sox in the last week. His current contract might be one of baseball’s best undervalued deals – he is making $3 million this season, $4.75 million in 2010 with a club option for $5.5 million in 2011.
Bell, 31, is making $1.255 million this season, his first as a full-time closer in the Major Leagues. Bell, who has converted 24 of 25 saves this season and made his first All-Star team, is due for potentially-hefty raise.
The Padres, who have already traded outfielder Scott Hairston and reliever Cla Meredith this month, might still make a deal or two before July 31.
“I could see a couple of smaller deals,” Towers said.