Odds & Ends: Nats, Bell, Mahay, Smoltz

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.

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