Bell, Padres agree to deal |

Bell, Padres agree to deal

The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO – Closer Heath Bell and the San Diego Padres agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract to avoid salary arbitration.

Bell led the NL with 42 saves last year, when he took over as closer after Trevor Hoffman signed a free-agent deal with Milwaukee.

Bell said Friday that the talks went smoothly.

“Both sides are pretty happy,” he said. “I want to show what I can do again, and then hopefully they can say, ‘OK, he’s done this for two years, let’s go long-term’ and that they keep me around a while.”

Bell has played four seasons for the Padres. He played parts of three seasons with the New York Mets before being traded to San Diego in November 2006.

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