Bell's regressing already [look at his SO ratios] and there's certainly no guarantee that he'll be on point next year, at 35. So signing him long term when your team's rebuilding would be asinine.
Try to trade him now if you can work him through waivers [doubtful] or to the claiming team [also doubtful]. If SD can't do this before the end of August, then suck it up and offer him the arbitration in the offseason [which he's said he'd accept, so no draft picks to recoup] and then try to trade him again.
"How much for just ONE rib?"
No, not Chris Rock, that is Jeff Moorad negotiating a contract extension for Heath Bell. To offer 2 years at $14M for a player who can fall out of bed in November and sign a 3/30M is insincere at best.
San Diego is fortunate to have a player that demonstrates such high levels of effectiveness, personality, and loyalty. Playing at Petco, with a self imposed Taco Bell budget, the bullpen is the primary differential that provides us an opportunity to succeed. Strictly for team morale, its important to set a precedent that shows a player that does things properly will be invested in.
Otherwise, what is the Padres mission statement? "We want 25 moderately decent players!" Case in point, the 2011 team MVP will have about 50 RBI's! The worst fear is that Jed Hoyer is to skilled of an evaluator and ends up with highly prized prospects that we will soon need to trade away for the next round of prospects. A never ending cycle of mediocrity and 3-1 losses.
Give him arbitration, and trade him next year. He will have value - less than 2 picks, but still have real value. No 10/5 rights, so no problem (I think)
Agree, cannot trade him in August. Toronto would claim him, pay the remaining and offer him arbitration. He likely walks and they get two picks. He also said he will not accept a two year deal, so that is dead. Three years at 8-10 mil per is 24-30 mil commitment. after 3 years he is 37 yeards old. So do you risk 30 mil and hope he does not decline (note his k rate has tanked this year compared to last year). Or do you risk arbitration, and if he does accept arbitration, you only risk 12 mil and get two picks after next year. I vote the arbitration route is the most logical and lowest risk. Trading him after this season will yield low returns as teams know they would be despirate. My two cents.
You can't trade Bell in August. No way he slips through waivers. Every team in baseball would claim him.