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Big League Stew

Saturday trade shocker: Diamondbacks land Heath Bell, trade Chris Young to A’s in three-way deal

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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In a pretty significant three team trade that seemingly developed out of nowhere and reached a conclusion rather quickly, the Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired reliever Heath Bell, who struggled mightily in the first year of his three-year, $27 million contract with the Miami Marlins, while shipping away disappointing outfielder Chris Young to the Oakland A's.

Those are the two biggest names involved in the deal that was made official via announcements from all three teams involved on Saturday afternoon. Further details also have the Diamondbacks acquiring infielder Cliff Pennington from Oakland, which is interesting because the trade these two teams made on Aug. 21 involving shortstop Stephen Drew is what likely made Pennington expendable. And while the Marlins may just be thrilled to get rid of Bell's issues, attitude and most of his contract, they will also accept 22-year-old shortstop prospect Yordy Cabrera from Oakland.

Got all that?

Good. Now here are the exact financial details on Heath Bell's involvement in the trade as reported by the Miami Herald's Clark Spencer,

So the Marlins not only get rid of another major headache, they won't be forced to eat the majority of said headache's contract, and they also get a middle of the road prospect in return. Not a bad day at the office for president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and his crew. Not a bad day at all.

"This should be a positive change for Heath and the Marlins," Beinfest said. "After a disappointing 2012 season, Heath gets a fresh start and this move gives us clarity as we begin our offseason roster improvement."

Arizona general manager Kevin Towers has already confirmed that Bell will move into a setup role initially with J.J. Putz remaining their closer. That should take some pressure off Bell, although being removed from the closer's role didn't really serve him well or make him any happier in Miami. But hey, at least he's a lot closer to his home and family in San Diego. That should enhance the happiness factor a bit.

As for Oakland's haul, they add Chris Young to an already impressive outfield that includes Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick and Seth Smith. It's possible another shoe will drop there, but just as likely Billy Beane will enjoy having depth and versatility to work with entering 2013. That would mean Young, who's connected for 34 home runs but hit for a lousy .234 average over the past two seasons, would have to earn his role. But that may just be the motivation he needs to finally reach his potential and sustain production at age 29.

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