Buzz: Marlins might reel in Heath Bell

Jon Heyman at si.com says the Marlins are in serious talks with the San Diego Padres about a trade for closer Heath Bell.

According to Heyman, the Padres are seeking young pitchers Andrew Miller or Sean West in return.

Bell is enjoying a sensational year as a first-time closer with San Diego, compiling 25 saves with a 2.01 ERA. That being said, he’s one of the few chips the Padres have that will bring back a decent return.

The Marlins are on a roll, winning seven of eight to climb withing two games of the Wild Card lead, and getting Bell will definitely improve their fortunes.

New York Times: Manny, Ortiz on 2003 steroids list

According to the New York Times, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were among the roughly 100 Major League Baseball players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the results.

In the story, the Times says:

The information about Ramirez and Ortiz emerged through interviews with multiple lawyers and others connected to the pending litigation. The lawyers spoke anonymously because the testing information is under seal by a court order. The lawyers did not identify which drugs were detected.

Unlike Ramirez, who recently served a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy, Ortiz had not previously been linked to performance-enhancing substances.

Scott Boras, the agent for Ramirez, would not comment Thursday.

I don’t really know what to think anymore about any of this, other than I wouldn’t be surprised no matter whose name showed up on that list.

What really gets me, though, is the 2003 test was supposed to be anonymous, as baseball was on a fact-finding mission to get a handle on the steroid propblem. The players agreed to the testing, knowing the individual results would never be made public.

I’m not condoning anything any user did, but at the same time anonymous is supposed to be anonymous, and as we’re now finding out, that wasn’t true at all.

Buzz: Dodgers bow out of Halladay talks

si.com’s Jon Heyman reports the Dodgers have bowed out of the Roy Halladay sweepstakes, deeming the price to high to pay.

Instead, the Dodgers are now turning their attention on beefing up their bullpen, with Orioles closer George Sherrill very high on their list.

This makes sense, as I just didn’t see the Dodgers meeting the required asking price of Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kersaw, even for an ace like Halladay. The Dodgers will not plug one hole on the big league team while creating another.

I do feel there is a better than 50-50 chance the Dodgers do make a move, most likely the bullpen.

And from what I can gather the prospects other teams continue to ask about are RHP’s James McDonald, Ethan Martin, Chris Withrow and Josh Lindblom; shortstop Devaris Gordon, and outfielder Andrew Lambo, the former Newbury Park High standout.

Of those players, I wouldn’t be surprised if McDonald is the one who gets dealt.

Postgame: Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2

The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 3-2 tonight in St. Louis. For a full boxscore click here.

BARE ESSENTIALS:

* Albert Pujols singled home Julio Lugo in the bottom of the 15th inning for the winning run.

* The Dodgers led 1-0 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, at which point Jonathan Broxton gave up a single to Ryan Ludwick, then threw a wild pitch to allow Ludwick to reach second, and a single to Colby Rasmus to enable Ludwick to score the winnin run.

* The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on James Loney’s RBI single.

* Clayton Kershaw was sensational hrough eight innings, giving up just four hits while striking out seven.

* The Dodgers left 24 runners on base.

ON DECK

* The Dodgers hope to salvage one game in this four-game series, and stop their season-worst four-game losing streak, by sending RHP Hiroki Kuroda (3-5, 4.57) vs. Kyle Lohse (4-6, 4.35).

Buzz: V. Martinez to be traded within 48 hours

Buster Olney of espn.com is reporting that the Indians will move C/1B Victor Martinez before Friday’s trade deadline.

Olney quotes an American League official as saying now that the Indians have traded pitcher Cliff Lee to the Phillies, they will increase their efforts to deal Martinez.

“I don’t think they’d move one without thinking about moving the other,” the American League official said.

Martinez is hitting .285 with 15 home runs and 67 RBIs for the Indians, who have a club option on Martinez for the 2010 season.

I mean, wow, how exciting has this trade deadline been already? And to think we still have a couple of days to play with.

Thing is, league G.M.’s had an inkling a number of good players would be made available this summer, and planned accordingly when budgeting their resources last winter.

In any event, things should get real interesting over the next 48 hours.

Report: Giants getting Sanchez

It’s been a busy day for the local guys on the Pirates. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post the Giants will soon land Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez, the former Burbank High standout.

Additionally, Jon Heyman at Si.com reports that the names being talked about from the Giants end are prospects John Bowker, Kevin Frandsen and Jesus Guzman.

Sanchez has an $8 million option for next year, after which he becomes a free agent. He recently declined a contract extension from the Pirates, which pretty much guaranteed he’s be traded this year.

Earlier, the Pirates traded SS Jack Wilson (Thousand Oaks High) to the Mariners.

Wow, how would you like to be a Pirates fan and lose your entire middle infield in one day? By the way, if you’re keeping track at home the Pirates have now dealt Sanchez, Wilson, 1B Adam LaRoche, CF Nate McLouth and LF Nyjer Morgan this season.

Report: Lee headed to Philly

Foxsports.com is reporting the Phillies have reached an agreement to aquire Indians pitcher Cliff Lee. pending the review of medical records.

According to sources he Phillies will get Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco from the Indians for Class A right-hander Jason Knapp, Class AAA right-hander Carlos Carrasco, shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson.

Wow, that’s a pretty good deal for the Phillies, who didn’t have to part with either current pitcher J.A. Happ or prized pitching prospect Kyle Drabek.

This is bad news for the Dodgers, who have now seen two potential playoff opponents get considerably better in the last week. First the Cardinals get Matt Holliday, and now the Phillies add a former Cy Young Award winner to the top of their rotation.

As I said earlier, though, the Dodgers simply don’t have the minor league prospects right now to put together a serious package, and since they are unwilling to include either Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw in any deal, they have to lower their sights, or not make any deal at all.

Report: Dodgers making push for Cliff Lee

Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi at FOXSports.com are reporting the Dodgers are making a big push for Indians’ ace Cliff Lee.

Here is the specific item:

The Phillies look like the front-runners for Indians left-hander Cliff Lee. But the Dodgers were planning to make a “hard push” for Lee on Wednesday, according to a major-league source.

Whether the Dodgers will be too late remains to be seen. The Angels, too, are interested in Lee, while the Phillies also are pursuing Mariners left-hander Jarrod Washburn.

The Phillies scratched Class AAA right-hander Carlos Carrasco from his start on Wednesday, a strong indication that he is about to be traded.

I just don’t see it happening for the Dodgers, who seem unwilling to deal Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley, and I’m convinced one or the other would have to be included in a deal for Lee.

Too many teams are expressing interest in Lee, especially now that no one can meet Toronto’s demands for Roy Halladay. The Phillies have enough minor league prospects to make a deal work for Lee, whereas all of the Dodgers best prospects are already on the big club.