SAN DIEGO -- The Padres opted to offer free-agent pitchers Heath Bell and Aaron Harang arbitration on Wednesday.
The deadline for teams to offer salary arbitration to ranked free agents was Wednesday at 8:59 p.m. PT.
Bell and Harang now have until 8:59 p.m., on Dec. 7 to accept or decline arbitration.
Bell, a three-time All-Star, said last week that he'll wait until the last possible moment to decide to accept or not.
Should Bell accept, he will be guaranteed a contract with the Padres for 2012, exceeding the $7.5 million he made in 2011.
Until then, the Padres are essentially in a holding pattern before pushing ahead with the rest of their offseason plans.
"Obviously, the Heath Bell situation will affect us a lot. If he doesn't accept [arbitration], we'll have more money," Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said recently. "Right now, things are moving a little slower until we know what happens with Heath."
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement states that Type A rules will be altered for Bell, meaning that if the Padres offer him arbitration, the team that signs him will not have to forfeit a Draft pick.
Instead, the Padres will receive compensation in the form of the pick immediately before the highest one they would have received under the old rules, as well as a supplemental-round selection.
Harang pegs as a Type B free agent, meaning if he turns down the Padres' arbitration offer and signs a deal elsewhere, the Padres receive one Draft pick in the supplemental round.
Last month, the Padres declined the $5 million mutual option for Harang, who went 14-7 with a career-best 3.64 ERA.