Closer Bell stays put as waiver period expires

Closer Bell stays put as waiver period expires

Closer Bell stays put as waiver period expires
PHOENIX -- In what is becoming an all too familiar scene, Padres closer Heath Bell sat in front of his locker on Friday, ready with a recognizable proclamation.

"I'm still here," he said.

The 48-hour waiver period that the Padres had to work out a waiver trade with the Giants for the three-time All-Star closer expired without much fanfare.

"I ain't going nowhere," Bell said.

The Giants claimed Bell off waivers on Wednesday, which started a 48-hour window -- one that expired at 10 a.m. PT on Friday -- for the Padres to work out a trade, allow the Giants to have him or let the waiver period expire.

In the end, nothing happened.

So what are the Padres options now regarding Bell?

If they place him on waivers again, Bell would be claimed on irrevocable waivers and would be traded no matter what.

The Padres could also work toward a contract extension that would keep the soon-to-be free agent in San Diego beyond this season.

Or the team could choose to offer him arbitration after the season with the hope that he signs elsewhere. In this scenario, the Padres would receive two compensatory Draft picks in 2012.

If the Padres offer Bell arbitration and he accepts, he could potentially make more than $10 million next season, which would take up a large portion of their payroll.

The team could offer Bell arbitration and trade him or they could let him walk following the season with no compensation.

Bell said on Friday that he has a gut feeling that he'll remain in San Diego, where he'll continue to be the longest-tenured player on the 25-man roster. Bell was traded to San Diego prior to the 2007 season.

"At the end of the day, I think I'm coming back next year," Bell said. "We're not talking [the Padres and Bell's agents], but I feel like something is going to happen."

Bell hasn't let the waiver claim this week distract him, mostly because all of his attention away from the field has been directed toward his father, Jim, who had open-heart surgery on Wednesday at a hospital in Round Rock, Texas.

"The whole thing with waivers didn't bother me, because like the Trade Deadline, it's all speculation," Bell said. "I had more important things to worry about.

"He's [Jim Bell] doing well. He's up walking around."

Bell thought for sure that he was going to be traded before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Instead, the team shipped reliever Mike Adams to the Rangers for two Minor League pitching prospects.

Bell said that he spent the past two days talking to his younger teammates about the waiver process.

"It was me being a teacher to them, that everyone goes on waivers," Bell said. "A lot of them thought that if you get claimed, you go to that team."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.