Olney’s Latest: Choate, Bell, Isringhausen, K-Rod

In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney notes that while the market for right-handed relief pitching is bountiful, the market for lefties is pretty thin. The Nationals will talk about Sean Burnett but the Cubs will not discuss Sean Marshall, though one southpaw to keep an eye on is Randy Choate. Olney says the Yankees have already asked the Marlins about his availability.

Here are the rest of Buster's rumors…

  • The Padres are unlikely to trade Heath Bell to the Diamondbacks even though the latter would love to have him. Padres owner Jeff Moorad used to run the D'Backs.
  • "The key guys this time of year really aren't the general managers," said one GM. "The owners are the key guys. Because they'll decide whether to add payroll, and when to raise the white flag on the season."
  • Jason Isringhausen of the Mets is "destined to draw a whole lot interest" because he's cheap and experienced. A handful of GMs feel that a Francisco Rodriguez trade is "all but impossible" because of his vesting option.
  • Teams have received their preliminary 2012 schedule, and the chances of realignment dwindle with each passing day.
  • Labor negotiations are progressing as scheduled, though recent buzz that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement could be announced at the All-Star Game has been dismissed.

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