Big League Stew

D12: Heath Bell lands in Florida for three years, $27 million

Big League Stew

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Heath Bell

'Duk's Dozen is a heaping morning serving of baseball items, links and takes — designed to keep you warm all offseason long.

1. Breathe easy, Blue Jays fans. After all your grousing and grandstanding, it's the Florida Marlins who are set to pay closer Heath Bell $9 million a year for the next three seasons (and possibly a fourth, depending on the option). Bell still has to pass a physical for it to all go through. ESPN

2. Dissing this deal might be the topic du jour, but I fail to see how it is ultimately so injurious. While I don't think Bell would have been a good fit with the plan Toronto has been implementing, laying out that type of scratch seems like less of a problem in Florida. The Marlins have already made it clear that they're willing to spend a lot of money on the eve of their new ballpark opening and paying Bell doesn't look like it's going to prevent the fish from making a run at Jose Reyes. Or C.J. Wilson. Or Albert Pujols, Mark Buehrle or whoever else catches their fancy.

I do, however, disagree with Ken Rosenthal's theory that Bell's contract will be a catalyst for other free agents signing in Florida because they'll interpret it as a sign the Marlins are serious about winning. Other big names may now flock to Florida, but it'll be due to Bell proving that the Marlins' ATM has broken open and is spewing out cash. Fox Sports

3. Rob Neyer thinks $9 million a year for Bell is about right. SB Nation

4. "For all the saves you gave us, for all the honest interviews you gave, for your Twitter Q&A's and your now infamous All Star Game slide, thank you Heater. You were what I love about baseball and athletes." Left Coast Bias

5. I know that many GMs have carved out time for bloggers in the past, but I particularly like how Sandy Alderson scheduled his session with our Mets' brethren. Holding court just before he flies to the winter meetings in Dallas — and not, say, in the middle of August's dog days — signals that he values the relevancy of what's going on here in the 'sphere. Amazin' Avenue

6. There's some speculation that Bill Buckner could join Bobby Valentine's coaching staff with the Boston Red Sox. Extra Bases {YSP:MORE}

7. Yankees GM Brian Cashman rappelled down that building in Stamford again Friday morning, but not before challenging Bobby V. — the city's most famous resident — to join him next December for descent No. 3. Newsday

8. The Milwaukee Brewers scrounged around for some pocket change to see what they could offer Prince Fielder and here's what they found: Six years, $120 million. Which is basically not even enough to get Scott Boras to feel a phantom smartphone vibration on his leg, let alone an amount guaranteed to get him to return a call. MLBTR

9. Best wishes to Mariano Rivera as he undergoes his vocal cord surgery. HOVG

10. The Houston Astros don't have a new general manager yet, but they'll be trying to shop Wandy Rodriguez, Carlos Lee and Brett Myers at the winter meetings anyway. I know any new GM would want to flip those guys as well but don't you think that he (or she) would like to negotiate the return? Or at least be the one to try and keep a straight face when they say they won't eat any of Lee's contract? @SI_JonHeyman

11. Death, taxes and Eric Chavez refusing to retire. SB Nation

12. Joe Maddon is cooking his annual holiday feast at not one, but four shelters this month. In related news, Joe Maddon is awesome. Joe's Thanksmas

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