From Sports Illustrated's John Heyman:
The Marlins inquired about closing stars Heath Bell and Joakim Soria in hopes of filling their relief openings. Injuries to closer Matt Lindstrom (elbow) and Kiko Calero (shoulder) have left them shorthanded at a time they are challenging for the NL East division lead. For now, both the Padres (Bell) and Royals (Soria) are saying neither reliever is available.
Talk about aiming high. Certainly this could all be crap, nothing more than a couple cold-calls Beinfest had an underling make just to test the waters in case of a ridiculous bargain.
But if it's true, it's noteworthy that the Fish would seem to be deviating a little from their standard business model of acquiring reasonably priced, unheralded veterans or trying to coach up prospects. I say "a little" because even though they're premiere closers, both are affordable.
Soria's in the second year of a three-year, $8.75 million contract, which is do-able even for the Marlins. Bell's only making about $1.255 million this year on a one-year contract (he'll cash in next year). So even though the Fish apparently were rejected on both players, it does show the parameters of what the team's looking for in terms of talent and salary.
And of course, it strongly indicates Fredi and the F.O. have soured on Lindstrom as a closer . You don't go after a guy like Soria and keep him through 2010 if you believe Lindstrom's a bona fide closer, or that Nunez would be ready next year.