Sunday night linkage..
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if money might be a factor in the Nationals' starting shortstop battle. Ian Desmond is making a compelling case for the starting job but the club might be unwilling to put Cristian Guzman and his $8MM contract on the bench.
- Padres closer Heath Bell told Tom Krasovic of AOL Fanhouse that he would be agreeable to signing an extension that is budget-friendly for the Padres. San Diego avoided arbitration with Bell in January when they agreed to a one-year, $4MM pact.
- It appears that reliever Ron Mahay won't be signing with the Mets, writes Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News. A source tells Rubin that there's no way Mahay would accept a minor league deal. Meanwhile, a separate source says that the Mets won't offer a major league contract.
- In his latest mailbag, a reader suggests to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro that the Marlins should sign John Smoltz. Frisaro says that the Marlins have no interest in the 42-year-old as the 26-year-old Josh Johnson is a good influence on the team's young pitchers.