Olney On Bell, Yankees, Pirates

As ESPN.com's Buster Olney points out, the American League Cy Young race is shaping up to be a compelling three-way contest. Justin Verlander, C.C. Sabathia and Jered Weaver rank first, second and third, respectively, in MLB in innings pitched and are among the leaders in just about every other category. Here are Olney's latest notes from around the league…

  • The Padres kicked around the idea of signing Heath Bell to a multiyear deal as they got closer to the trade deadline without seeing offers they liked for their closer. Bell says he would accept an offer of arbitration from San Diego, so Olney outlines the Padres' options. They could work out a trade involving Bell this month (with less leverage than before), they could sign him to a multiyear deal or, they could offer arbitration in the offseason and be prepared for Bell to accept if another club doesn't dangle a major deal.
  • The Yankees are well-positioned to pursue the next starting pitcher who becomes available on the trade market, since they kept their top prospects this July. They also figure to pursue Weaver when he hits free agency after the 2012 season.
  • The Pirates made modest upgrades (Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick) instead of paying more for better players and Olney says the approach makes sense given their modest chances of winning the NL Central.

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