It’s been suggested in many places, including this one, that the Marlins offered relief pitcher Scott Nestor for Wes Helms. Nestor is a 23-year-old righty who struck out 86 in 75 innings at Double-A last season while throwing to a 4.44 ERA. Opponents hit just .233 against him but he walked 41, which is way too many. If that was the whole deal it’s a bad one for the Phils and I’d be surprised if they did it — Helms has a chance to bounce back this year and without other options at third they need him a lot more than Nestor.

The article linked above also says the Marlins may be interested in 25-year-old infielder Jorge Cantu, who was released by the Reds this week. Cantu doesn’t get on base but hit 28 home runs in 2005 as a 23-year-old and would seem like someone that would be on the Phillies’ radar as well.

This article says that the Phillies turned down an offer from the Marlins for Helms in which Florida asked the Phils to cover more than half of Helms’ salary for the upcoming season. It also suggests that Pedro Feliz may be the answer to the Phillies’ problem at third. Feliz has never on-based more than .305 in a season and hasn’t slugged more than .430 in any of the last three years.

Aaron Rowand declined arbitration.

This article says that Baltimore is interested in Joe Crede but needs to figure out what to do with Melvin Mora.

Just acquired Michael Restovich is gone. He has signed a contract with the Softbank Hawks to play in Japan.

The Phillies announced the signings of 13 minor leaguer free agents, including Jake Blalock. Blalock is back after being traded to the Rangers along with Robinson Tejeda for David Dellucci just before the start of the 2006 season. He’s still just 24 but was miserable last season, hitting 219/292/353 between four Single-A and Double-A teams combined. The Rangers traded him to the Royals and Kansas City released in July, which is when the Phils picked him up again.