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Pirates Trade Rumors - Heyman: Pirates In On Heath Bell

It's hard to argue the Pirates need much relief help right now after the bullpen held the Braves at bay for 13 innings and change Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, but Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman reports the Pirates are one of the teams in on the San Diego Padres' Heath Bell.

Bell is said to have particular interest in going to the Cardinals, one of many teams not yet offering enough. The Rangers, Phillies, Angels, Reds, Pirates, White Sox and Yankees also have shown interest (though the Yankees and White Sox to a lesser degree).

Bell, 33, has been outstanding for San Diego this season with a 2-3 record, 2.40 ERA, 29 saves and 31 strikeouts against 16 walks in 41.1 innings. All that said, the Padres, understandably, are probably looking for a lot for him, and given the success the Pirates have had out of the 'pen this season, its hard to see GM Neal Huntington and Co. giving him more than a quick glance as they continue to search for a much needed bat.

Remember, the Pirates got James McDonald and Andrew Lambo from the Dodgers at the trading deadline last season for Octavio Dotel. The Padres accepting less than a package like that for their highly coveted reliever is probably unrealistic, and the Pirates can't afford to be giving up pieces like, say, a Brad Lincoln or a Starling Marte for a relief pitcher.  As nice as having Bell to shorten the game in front of Joel Hanrahan would be for the Bucs, it's a luxury, not a need. Upgrading at first base should be the priority four days from the deadline.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.