The Fish have a closer already– sort of. Juan Carlos Oviedo, formally Leo Núñez, is facing identity problems in the Dominican Republic. Oviedo went by “Leo Núñez” his whole career, but revealed his false identity nearly a week before the 2011 season ended. Since then, Oviedo has been placed on the restricted list. He is eligible for arbitration, and is expected to make around $6 million.
Heath Bell, a three-time N.L. All-Star closer, has spent eight years in the Majors; three years with the New York Mets, and five years with the San Diego Padres. In 2011, Bell finished with a 2.44 ERA and had 43 saves in 48 opportunities (64 games).
Bell made $7.5 million last year with San Diego, and has expressed interest in staying with the Padres or somewhere near the West Coast. Bell is arbitration eligible with the Padres, and is guaranteed a contract that exceeds his 2011 earnings. Bell has stated that he’ll wait until the last possible moment to decide to accept arbitration or go elsewhere.