Cheap Seats

Rumor Mill: Heath Bell

Apparently talks between the Rangers and Padres about closer Heath Bell have begun to sour, which could make the Cardinals the favorite to land him by default.

Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal tweets:

Sources: #Rangers appear to be losing momentum on #Padres Bell. #Cardinals still possible. Talks fluid.

Word late Saturday was that the Yankees may be involved in the Bell derby. But as of early Sunday the Yankees seemed more focused on filling a greater need -- starting pitching. New York has been rumored to be in talks with the Astros about Wandy Rodriguez and the Cubs are known to be offering up Carlos Zambrano.

Perhaps the Yankees will be too distracted to get anything done with San Diego...

As I have said before, I like Bell and think he would make a nice addition. But I don't want to see the Cardinals give up too much for an incremental improvement. Not only has Fernando Salas pitched pretty well. But the addition of Octavio Dotel is something of a closer insurance policy.

The Cardinals had to give up Rasmus to improve their starting pitching, bench and bullpen. But the Rasmus writing as on the wall. The result is that they've survived to this point without giving up any blue chip prospects. And I hope that won't change so that they can add a two-month rental, no matter how good Bell is.

The odds of landing Bell on the cheap seem to have increased greatly as we stand 3 1/2 hours from the trade deadline. I would rather see the Cardinals refuse to blink and lose him than sell the farm. The Padres either can keep him and get nothing or trade him to the Cardinals and hope to bring him back as a free agent in 2012.