Orioles trade minor league 3B Josh Bell to Diamondbacks

Josh Bell, once thought to be the club’s third baseman of the future, is now an ex-Oriole.

The Orioles traded the 25-year-old third baseman to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

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

The Orioles acquired Bell in July 2009 along with minor league pitcher Steve Johnson in the deadline deal that sent closer George Sherrill to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bell immediately was considered the Orioles’ top hitting prospect and expected to fill a seemingly continual void at third base.

But the switch-hitting slugger battled weight issues and inconsistency and never reached the potential that made him a fourth-round pick of the Dodgers. In 79 games with the Orioles over parts of two seasons, Bell batted .200 with three homers and 18 RBIs in 220 at-bats. Two of his homers came in the same game — against then-Texas ace Cliff Lee.

Bell’s star quickly faded within the organization and after hitting .094 (3-for-32) in nine games at Triple-A Norfolk this year, Bell was designated for assignment Monday when the club claimed catcher Luis Exposito off waivers from Boston.

Duquette said the Orioles had conversations with several teams before settling with the Diamondbacks.

“We talked to all the teams, there were a couple teams that were interested in Josh,” Duquette said. “I think Arizona liked him the most.”

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