From Joel Sherman (NY Post):
An NL official said not to believe that San Diego closer Heath Bell is only available at an exorbitant price. “I think the Padres realize that this is the moment when you can get your best deal for (Bell). He gets expensive next year, and there is no reason to have an expensive closer on a bad team.”The Yankees are among the teams that have been interested in Bell. The addition of Bell would allow the Yanks to more comfortably move either Alfredo Aceves and/or Phil Hughes into the rotation if an injury struck the Yanks’ suddenly thin rotation.
Bell is an expensive commodity, so trading for him is unlikely. The Yankees would have to give up at least one top-tier player from their farm system in order to get him (along with others). Still, he would probably cost less than a Jarrod Washburn (player cost and financial cost), though, and as Sherman notes, the smart play could be for the Yankees to trade for a shutdown reliever (e.g., Bell, Qualls, etc.). That would allow them to transition Phil Hughes into the starting rotation without creating a void in their bullpen and it would solve their obvious depth issues.
It would be particularly funny for the Yanks to acquire Bell since he accused ESPN of covering only the Red Sox, Mets and the Yankees, earlier this season. What, nobody cares about the 38-62 Padres?