While initial reactions to the Miami Marlins' deal with Heath Bell have ranged from excited to sour, this move clearly signifies one thing: the Marlins don't intend to keep Juan Oviedo (AKA, Leo Nunez) as their closer next season. Oviedo had a middling year as the Marlins' closer in 2011, saving 36 games but posting a 4.06 ERA in the process, and he was facing ongoing legal and visa issues due to the revelation that he was playing under an assumed name.
Due to all these factors, according to Jim Bowden from ESPN Radio, the Marlins intend to non-tender Juan Oviedo. He is eligible for arbitration this offseason and would likely make around $6 million if offered a contract, so it appears the Marlins aren't going to take that risk. They have their new closer, so they can cut and run on Oviedo, saving themselves some money in the process.
While the length of Heath Bell's contract is extreme, it should be a good deal in 2012. The Marlins will only be paying Bell a few million more than what Oviedo would be making, yet Bell is a considerably better pitcher than him and doesn't come with extra baggage. The Marlins may end up regretting this contract by 2014, but for right now, it's a solid improvement to their team.
For more on Miami, visit SB Nation's blog on the Marlins, Fish Stripes.