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Rumor Mill: Cardinals still in the mix for Bell

It's seemed over the last couple of days that the Cardinals may have fallen out of the derby to land Padres close Heath Bell.

But Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal tweets this morning that the Birds are still in the hunt:

also still alive for ' Bell. continue to haggle with Pads over price.
If I'm the Padres GM, I obviously want to maximize my return for Bell. But a complicating factor is that Bell has said he would take a discounted contract to play for San Diego in 2012 and beyond. If the Padres want to bring Bell back, the Cardinals might be a better landing spot than Texes.
Why? Because the Rangers would be more of a threat to try to get Bell to land an extension. They need a close on a permanent basis and they have cash to spend after they fell short last season in their bid to sign starting pitcher Cliff Lee.
The Redbirds, on the other hand, have many other fish to fry this off-season. Amongst St. Louis starting position players, only Yadier Molina, David Freese, Matt Holliday and Jon Jay are under control for next season. Important decisions must be made on options for starting pitchers Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright as well as reliever Octavio Dotel. Trying to sign a closer would be about number 12 on the to-do list, should the Cardinals decide that's even something they want to pursue.
If the Pads send Bell to Texas, the Rangers have two months to convince him that he should stay there. They could offer a contract extension richer than San Diego is willing to pay before Bell even hits free agency. Or they could send him to St. Louis, gain a prospect or two for free, and then quickly snatch him back up off the free agent market after the World Series.
That being said, if I am the Cardinals GM, I would be very reluctant to mortgage the future for two months of Bell. Trading for a shortstop could vastly improve this team. But the bullpen is already greatly improved thanks to the Colby Ramus trade. It would be nice to add Bell. But it's not vital.
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