Two trades have been announced that end up being pretty close to a three-way deal.
The Oakland Athletics acquired outfielder Chris Young (and cash considerations) from the Diamondbacks and shipped middle infielder Cliff Pennington along with minor-league shortstop Yordy Cabrera to Arizona.
Arizona then turned around and flipped Cabrera to the Miami Marlins in exchange for relief pitcher Heath Bell and cash considerations.
“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 D-Backs general manager Kevin Towers in a statement. “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."
It sounds like Bell will join with David Hernandez and Brad Ziegler in a setup role for Arizona while Pennington will split some playing time with John McDonald at shortstop while also backing up Aaron Hill at second. Of course, the offseason hasn't even begun, yet, so it's possible the D-Backs do more to address shortstop.
So to summarize: Cabrera was traded twice, heading from Oakland's system through Arizona's and ending up in Miami's. Bell and Pennington are now on the Diamondbacks and Chris Young is now a member of the Oakland Athletics.
Bell, 35, was an All-Star closer the previous three seasons for the Padres. He was signed by the Marlins last offseason to a three-year, $27 million deal, but had a disastrous 2012 season. He blew eight saves and had a 5.09 ERA and 1.56 WHIP and his contract was threatening to become an albatross for the next two years.
"This should be a positive change," said Marlins president Larry Beinfest in a statement. "After a disappointing 2012 this gives us clarity as we begin our offseason roster improvement."
Pennington, 28, hit .215/.278/.311 with six homers and 15 stolen bases for the Athletics last season. He can fit as a shortstop or second baseman and is an excellent defensive second baseman.
Young, 29, hit .231/.311/.434 with 14 homers, 41 RBI and eight steals in 101 games. He battled injury issues through some of the season. In the previous two seasons, Young went 20-20 (over 20 homers and stolen bases). He's a very good defensive center fielder, too.
The A's now have an interesting logjam in the outfield. Coco Crisp is signed through next season, Yoenis Cespedes isn't going anywhere and Josh Reddick is under team control until 2017.
As for Arizona -- barring more moves, again -- they have Gerardo Parra to play center, flanked by Jason Kubel and Justin Upton.
Cabrera, 22, hit .232/.293/.332 with three homers and two stolen bases in 60 games for High-A Stockton last season.