Os trade Bell to Arizona (updated)

Once seen as the organization’s third baseman of the future, the Orioles traded third baseman Josh Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday afternoon in exchange for a player to be named later.

Bell, who was in Major League Spring Training for Baltimore, was the centerpiece in the Orioles’ 2009 trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers for closer George Sherrill, but he has been unable to put together a consistent stretch of play.

Bell hit .200 in 79 games for the Orioles in parts of two seasons, and the club traded for Mark Reynolds last offseason and added Wilson Betemit this winter, to push Bell further down the depth chart. He was part of the first rounds of cuts this spring, and the 25-year-old switch-hitter, was designated for assignment Monday when the Orioles claimed catcher Luis Exposito off waivers from the Boston Red Sox. Once Bell was designated, the Orioles had 10 days to trade him, release him or see if he cleared waivers.

At the time he was DFA’ed, Bell was hitting .094 in nine games for Triple-A Norfolk with one home run and three RBIs. He is expected to be assigned to the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate in Tucson.

“We didn’t have a meeting of the minds for the player,” said Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, who considered several names for Bell. “So, we are going to work on that for a short period of time. It may or may not be a player. We assigned him there and it may or may not be a player, it may just be cash considerations.”

There was interest in Bell from at least four teams, including the Dodgers, the team that originally selected him in the fourth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft. But Duquette said the Orioles felt Arizona “liked him the most”.

“They were looking for some more depth for their third base for their Major-League team,” Duquette said.

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