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Why The St. Louis Cardinals And Heath Bell Should See Other People

Heath Bell has been the official relief pitcher of frustrated St. Louis Cardinals fans all year, but it's only recently that the whispering types have begun suggesting they might actually make a trade with the San Diego Padres for their closer. As a result, it's only recently that I've been forced to make my claim as to just how terrible an idea this is. The Cardinals are the last team in the world that can afford to trade for Heath Bell, and I say that in spite of my belief that most teams can't afford to.


Heath Bell combines all the worst possible aspects of a deadline deal into one pitcher—he's a thirtysomething free agent after the season, he's played in the best pitcher's park in baseball, he's a save-accumulator, and he's a reliever, so the Cardinals would be paying for, at the outside, about a third of the innings Kyle Lohse has pitched so far this season. 


As a save-accumulator they would also be paying more than they would for, say, an eighth-inning reliever. Start with Jon Jay, maybe, and add some prospects you like. 


I get that the Cardinals have a terrible bullpen, but this isn't the way to fix it.