Originally written on MarlinsBaseball.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14

The Heath Bell signing has been a disaster of monumental proportions, that is something that nobody can deny.  It would look like a bad signing even on a smaller deal but when you consider the years and dollars involved — it becomes one of the worst contracts in Marlins’ history.   The easy thing would be to trade Bell, pay a bunch of the money he’s owed and forget it ever happened.    Should the Marlins do that though?  The answer to that may not be as simple as many think.

In baseball, relief pitchers are volatile.  One year, some will dominate the league and then the next — they are well, Heath Bell.   Last season Bell put up very good numbers in San Diego, something that had become the norm for his career over the past few seasons.  Then came this season’s fall from grace for Bell, an epic change in ability that has continued throughout the season.   A drop in velocity, and an inability to show consistent control were factors in the downfall of Bell.  He lost the closers job and never regained it due in part to Steve Cishek’s exceptional work.    There was a point where Bell put it together for a little while but it was not long lasting enough for him to recapture the job he was signed to do.

Besides his on field performance, Bell has made headlines for his off the field comments about his manager and his teammates.  Too often, Bell has pointed the finger at others while deflecting blame off himself.  This has led to him seemingly falling out of favor in the clubhouse as his teammates sided with manager Ozzie Guillen when the two went toe-to-toe in the media.

If the Marlins trade Bell and it is extremely likely that they will try to do so — they will have to send a considerable amount of money along the way with him.  Bell is owed $18 million over the next two years and coming off 2012, there are not many teams in baseball who would be interested in picking up any significant percentage of the tab.   Return value in a trade would be low with a team sending a low level prospect most likely. Since relief pitchers are known to sometimes find “it” after a down year, it may be in the Marlins’ best interest to hold onto Bell in hopes he can turn it around.  If they have to pay him anyway, why not see what he can do?  If he falters again, they can always re-visit a trade.   The off the field issues can be worrisome but with a possible switch at manager, some of those issues may work themselves out inadvertently.

It’s clear that Cishek should be the closer to start 2013, he earned that right and it would be wrong to make him compete for the job in Spring Training.   It’s likely Bell can’t be worse than he was in 2012 so maybe the Marlins should see if he can be better?

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Cardinals Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Quincy Acy ejected for throwing punch at John Wall

Billy Beane did not want to trade Josh Donaldson

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

WATCH: Bahamas Bowl ends on insane Hail Mary play

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.