For a number of reasons, San Diego free-agent closer Heath Bell is the logical closer choice for the Red Sox. First, he will not cost Boston a first-round compensation pick—thanks to Selig's big-market friendly CBA.
Second, he's looking for a deal in excess of the two years the Padres have offered. This is something the Red Sox can afford—just on revenues from Liverpool swag alone.
Third, Bell would not cost the Red Sox more prospects from their depleted farm system in a trade. So, barring a commitment to Daniel Bard as closer (which they are clearly uncomfortable with), it's Heath Bell. The 34-year old righty brings another plus to the table—he's almost as flaky as Papelbon (see photo).