This should come as no surprise, as the Marlins appear to have eyes for every free agent that breathes. But Jon Heyman of SI.com is reporting via Twitter that the Marlins have spoken with closer Heath Bell. In another tweet, Heyman reports that Ryan Madson declined to meet with the Marlins because he didn't like their initial offer.
Earlier reports have indicated that the Padres don't believe they'll be able to re-sign Bell, who has averaged 44 saves over the past three seasons with San Diego.
The Marlins clearly lack a closer. Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez) remains in the Dominican Republic, where he continues to sort out immigration issues. And even if Oviedo were to be cleared soon, it's not certain that the Marlins would tender him an offer as he stands to make up to $6 million through salary arbitration. The Marlins' current in-house candidates -- Edward Mujica, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn -- are not exactly appealing options for the ninth-inning role, either.
Bell would not come cheap. There have been reports suggesting that Bell could command a three-year deal worth more than $30 million. And Bell has stated publically that he would prefer to remain on the West Coast.