SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell has confirmed that he has been claimed off waivers by the San Francisco Giants, although even he is skeptical about whether he will actually end up with the defending World Series champions.
The burly right-hander said before Wednesday night's game — coincidentally at San Francisco — that he's planning to "sweat my butt off" when the Padres play at Arizona on Friday.
"I feel pretty honored. They're the world champs, they want me to be part of their organization," Bell said. "But nothing has happened right now. I'm a Padre, and I'm pretty happy about that. Until something happens, there's really not much to talk about."
San Diego has 48 hours from the time Bell was claimed to decide whether to trade the three-time All-Star, allow him to be claimed or pull him back from waivers. Giants general manager Brian Sabean might also just be trying to block NL West-leading Arizona — under first-year general manager and former Padres GM Kevin Towers — from landing Bell.
The Giants won the claim, first reported by ESPN, for the 33-year-old Bell earlier in the day. He converted his 35th save in 39 opportunities in Tuesday's 7-5 win over San Francisco.
Bell admitted it would be odd to switch clubhouses at AT&T Park in the middle of a quick two-game series.
"It would be easy. It wouldn't be that far," he said, chuckling. "I know where the locker room is. It would be a little weird just because we've had so many battles over the years."
The Giants are beat up in the bullpen, with closer Brian Wilson and reliever Sergio Romo on the disabled list.
There is no timetable for when Wilson will get on a mound and test his inflamed right elbow, though there's a chance he could return in early September for the stretch run. Wilson has declined to discuss his injury.
Wilson was last season's majors saves leader with 48, while Bell had 47. San Francisco began the day two games back of the Diamondbacks in the division race.
AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco and AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson in San Diego contributed to this story.