SAN FRANCISCO -- Everything in Heath Bell's locker seemed in order Wednesday afternoon. His uniform top, perfectly pressed and on a hangar, rested in its usual place.He didn't look like a guy who had been traded, waived or claimed. "I'm still a Padre, and that's all I know," said Bell, who found out the Giants had claimed him on waivers when he was called Wednesday by ESPN Radio's "Doug Gottlieb Show," then he confirmed the news with his agent. "I'm getting on a plane tonight and going to Phoenix. Then I'll get ready to play the Diamondbacks." The Padres have two days to work out a trade with the Giants, let Bell go to the Giants for $20,000 or to pull the closer back, in which case he would finish out the season -- along with his current contract -- in San Diego. The social media universe went ballistic with the news, particularly with Giants' fans concerned about the health of their own closer, Brian Wilson, who is currently on the disabled list. At this time of the year, many Major League players find themselves on the waiver wire. If a player goes unclaimed, his club is free to work out a trade with any team. However, if he is claimed, he may only be moved to the club that made the claim. Padres manager Bud Black said he would be "extremely shocked" if Bell wasn't still with the Padres in 48 hours.
"Albert Pujols was put on waivers. Justin Verlander was put on waivers. I'm sure they got claimed, too, right? I don't know, but every general manager I've known tells me that every player has put been put on waivers."
It's possible the Giants claimed Bell to prevent the Arizona Diamondbacks and/or Philadelphia Phillies from doing so, even if a trade isn't worked out.Last year, it was assumed the Giants did the same thing with Cody Ross, claiming the then Marlins outfielder so the Padres could not. They completed a deal, and the move paid off for San Francisco as Ross was a key contributor in their World Series run. Bell, who recorded his 35th save Tuesday night against the Giants, is having some fun with the rumor mill. There was a tweet that appeared from an account "HeathBell21" that simply read, "not traded."
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.