As for Bell, the Padres encouraged trade offers on him last summer and last offseason. Then they kept him and signed him for $4 million. Bell would have more trade value now if Padres upper-level executives had OK'd the terms that then-GM Kevin Towers and Bell's agent had agreed to in the 2008-09 offseason. According to Bell, that pact would've guaranteed him $1.2 million in 2009 and $2.1 million this year. "I like the number 21 and wanted those numbers -- 1.2 and 2.1," said Bell, who wears 21.This all sounds great on the surface. Bell wants to stay in San Diego and he is willing to take less money to do so. However, given that the Padres have a $40 million dollar payroll and that closers of Bell's quality make around $8 million or so annually (roughly), what are the odds that they are willing to commit somewhere in the $6-$8 million dollar range long term for a closer? Slim to none? None?
When the club deemed the deal too risky, Bell signed for one year and put up enough numbers to raise his salary to $4 million. He said escalators in the scuttled deal would've bumped his 2010 salary to $3 million.
Bell said he'd be agreeable to signing an extension that is budget friendly for the Padres.
Because of their financial limitations, it might be economically impossible for the Padres to keep Bell even if he is willing to take less.