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Fish Bites: With Heath Bell Gone, Closer Job Steve Cishek's To Lose

The Miami Marlins traded closer Heath Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday afternoon. Prior to the end of last season, Steve Cishek was efficient in that role. Is he a lock to close in 2013?

With Heath Bell gone, is Steve Cishek Miami's next closer?
With Heath Bell gone, is Steve Cishek Miami's next closer?
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

On Saturday afternoon, Miami traded closer Heath Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a trade that involved three teams and sent third base prospect Yordy Cabrera to Miami.

Prior to the end of the season, manager Ozzie Guillen and Bell began publicly commenting on the job each had done this past year. Just days after closing out their season, several sources reported that Guillen's job "is not safe", and the Marlins "may be searching for their next manager."

Miami's decision to trade Bell might suggest that the front office would like Guillen to continue to manage the team. Bell drew negative attention to the clubhouse, and criticized Guillen during a radio interview.

Bell, though, doesn't have much to brag about , as he blew eight saves and didn't find himself pitching in the ninth inning after mid-June. Often relieving Bell was Steve Cishek, who saved 15 games and ended the year with an earned run average of 2.69.

Heading into 2013, Miami, for the moment, doesn't have a defined closer. With Bell gone, is the closer job Steve Cishek's to lose?

-Alex Rodriguez consistently struggled throughout the postseason, which led to Yankees manager Joe Girardi benching him. With New York eliminated from the playoffs, many think that Rodriguez will not return to New York next year. Many have suggested that Miami is a perfect fit, since the Marlins don't have any depth at third base.

-Marlins prospect Jose Fernandez is the latest pitcher to be on the cover of Baseball America. Under his name, Baseball America said that Fernandez "put himself among the elite, finishing as the top prospect in both leagues. Fernandez had a great year at single-A, and might find himself pitching for Double-A Jacksonville come the middle of next season.

- On Wednesday, the Toronto Blue Jays claimed outfielder Scott Cousins on waivers and the Boston Red Sox claimed pitcher Sandy Rosario. Cousins' most memorable moment as a Marlin was when he slid into home plate and ended San Francisco catcher Buster Posey's season. Rosario spent a minimal amount of time at the big league level with Miami.

-Miami also outrighted infielders Donnie Murphy, Gil Velazquez, and Nick Green to Triple-A New Orleans on Wednesday. Green and Murphy then opted to become free agents. All three ended the season on the Marlins' 25 man roster.

-Miami front office executives are very excited about the potential of prospect Yordy Cabrera, who the Marlins acquired from the Diamonbacks for Heath Bell. "This should be a positive change for Heath and the Marlins," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said in a statement. "After a disappointing 2012 season, Heath gets a fresh start and this move gives us clarity as we begin our offseason roster improvement."

-Despite several reports suggesting otherwise, Marlins president David Samson has recently said that there have not been talks with the Yankees about bringing A-Rod to Miami. "There have been no conversations between the Yankees and the Marlins," Samson told at a team community event.

-Third base coach Joe Espada, who manager Ozzie Guillen elected to keep on his staff for the 2012 season, will manage in the winter league in Puerto Rico. The league is trying to bounce back after financial problems forced it to cancel the 2007 season. "It is cool. They're just trying to get things going again," said Espada, 37, a native of Santurce who lives in Jupiter.

Around The League

-The Boston Red Sox have officially named John Farrell as their next manager. Farrell was a pitching coach in Boston from 2007-2010. "I'm extremely excited to be returning to the Red Sox and to Boston," Farrell said in a team statement. "I love this organization. It's a great franchise in a special city and region, with great fans, and we want nothing more than to reward their faith in us."

-The Yankees have reported that they will listen to offers for A-Rod, however a deal is unlikely. "It's not like I'm going to hang phones up on anybody who wants to make any overtures about anything," GM BrianCashman said during an ESPN Radio interview Sunday. "You're talking about realistic stuff and unrealistic stuff. I don't think it's realistic at all for us to be moving forward with anything but Alex Rodriguez at third base.

-In the three team trade that sent Heath Bell to Arizona, the Athletics gained a veteran center fielder in Chris Young. "There's no need to go down that road," A's GM Billy Beane said. "Everybody knows how important this guy is to our team. He also has the benefit of being a personal favorite of mine."

At Fish Stripes

-Check out the Fish Stripes coverage of the Heath Bell trade here. This includes the initial reaction, the full analysis, and the thoughts of the rest of Fish Stripes.

-The short-season Low-A Marlins will now be playing in Batavia. Batavia is known for having a tight-knit community, but still struggled to draw more than 1,000 fans for every game.

-Emilio Bonifacio had a great season, however he was plagued by the injury bug, which contributed to the Marlins' downfall. Here is a season review on Bonifacio.

- Logan Morrison had a disappointing 2012 season that also ended in injury. Here is that season review.