Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Giants' Javier Lopez and Diamondbacks' Heath Bell were each placed on revocable waivers Monday afternoon, further adding to a growing group of bullpen arms to be placed on the waiver wire in recent days. Both arms could be serviceable set-up men on a contending squad, with Lopez being the more valuable of the two.
Bell signed a three year contract with the Miami Marlins during their free agent splurge in the Winter of 2012, and was subsequently traded to Arizona last offseason as part of a three-team deal with the Marlins and Athletics. After putting up a horrid 2012 campaign, he has been enigmatic this season, posting a 3.88 ERA over 55 and 2/3 innings. He is striking out well over a batter per inning and his walk rate is easily the best of his career. However, he has already allowed 10 home runs this season, nearly double his previous career-high.
The fiscal responsibility of Bell's employer will likely limit the market for his services. He will be paid $9 million next season, while the Diamondbacks also hold a $9 million club option for 2015.
Lopez, who is an impending free agent for the upcoming Winter, appears to be a much favorable option for a contender looking for help at the back of their bullpen. He has been phenomenal for the Giants this season, with a 1.99 ERA in 55 appearances. He has been relatively consistent over the years, having posted an ERA+ higher than 120 in 7 of the past 8 seasons while being a key contributor to a pair of World Series-winning ball clubs in the 2010 and 2012 Giants.
The left-hander was reportedly going to be moved at the July 31st trade deadline, but a trade with the Cleveland Indians fell through, and no further moves were made.
A variety of contenders, including the Boston Red Sox and aforementioned Indians, are seeking relief help in preparation for a September playoff run, making it likely that we see at least one of the above two pitchers moved before the end of August.