Let's check in on the Rumblings and Grumblings of ESPN's Jayson Stark…
- One exec Stark spoke to implied the Padres may not be motivated to trade closer Heath Bell because he's under team control through 2011 and signed at $4MM for 2010. Bell's salary could double in '11, though, and I'm not convinced the Padres will want to pay it.
- Stark talked to a GM who thinks Bell makes sense for the Twins as a backup plan in case Joe Nathan needs a 16-month Tommy John recovery period to get back to normal. Stark learned that a significant part of Nathan's salary this year is insured, so that frees up some money this year. But again, will the Twins want to pay nearly $20MM to two relievers in 2011?
- Should Houston's troubles continue, Stark wonders if Roy Oswalt would consider waiving his no-trade clause. He says a friend of Oswalt believes the pitcher's preferred destinations are Atlanta, St. Louis, and Texas. It's hard to see those clubs making a play for Oswalt, especially with his large salaries for '10 and '11.
- Stark guesses the Nationals are more likely to trade Adam Dunn before the deadline than sign him to an extension. Last we heard, ESPN's Buster Olney said there were no ongoing extension talks.
- Twins catching prospect Wilson Ramos has been labeled as one of the game's best trade chips, but assistant GM Rob Antony says that "right now, we'd lean toward keeping him."
- If he can't find a big league job, Kevin Millar could sign with the St. Paul Saints, where his pro career began. Millar was released by the Cubs on March 30th.