The Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they acquired shortstop Cliff Pennington and Minor League infielder Yordy Cabrera from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for outfielder Chris Young and cash considerations. The team then sent Cabrera to the Miami Marlins in exchange for right-handed reliever Heath Bell and cash considerations. The announcements were made by D-backs Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers.
“Adding another veteran arm to our bullpen should serve to shorten the game for us as we now have several relievers with closing experience to get the ball to J.J. Putz,” said Towers. “Cliff is a blue-collar type player with postseason experience who can play both middle infield positions. He provides us with depth up the middle and versatility at the plate as a switch-hitter.
“I also want to thank CY for more than six years of dedicated service to the D-backs. He’s been the consummate professional and was a big part of our division-winning teams in 2007 and 2011, and we wish him all the best.”
Towers will be available on a conference call today at 3:00 p.m. Media wishing to participate in the conference call may dial 877.820.7831 and use the pass code *6637172* (must enter star before and after the passcode).
Bell, 35, has saved 151 games over the past four seasons, the most of any pitcher in Major League Baseball during that span. Following his third consecutive 40-save season in 2011, he signed a four-year contract with the Marlins. Last season, Bell registered 19 saves while posting a 5.09 ERA in 73 games for the Marlins.
The three-time All-Star appeared in 33 games after the All-Star Break last season, posting a 3.10 ERA while giving up just 1 earned run in 12 September appearances (0.82 ERA). In 508 career big league appearances, the California native has a 3.30 ERA and 150 saves. He was named MLB’s Rolaids Relief Man of the Year in 2009 and 2010 and the MLB Delivery Man of the Year in 2010.
Bell joins Brad Ziegler and David Hernandez as right-handers with experience as a closer leading to Putz, whose club option was exercised earlier today.
Pennington, 28, appeared in 125 games for the American League West Division Champion A’s in 2012, including 93 games at shortstop. Among shortstops with 75 or more games last season, he ranked third in the Majors with a .859 zone rating and sixth in the AL with a .979 fielding percentage. The switch-hitter has a .249 lifetime average, including a .215 mark with six homers and 28 RBI in 2012.
A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Pennington attended Texas A&M University where he was the Aggies’ MVP, an All-Big 12 selection and third team All-American in 2005. He was selected in the 1st round (21st overall) of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.
Young, 29, finishes his D-backs career with a .239 batting average, 132 homers and 408 RBI in 6-plus seasons. He ranks among the all-time club leaders in doubles (2nd, 198), walks (2nd, 360), games (2nd, 885), homers (3rd, 132) and RBI (3rd, 408).
He appeared in just 101 games in 2012 due to a shoulder injury, batting .231 with 14 homers and 41 RBI.