June 3, 2011, 03:02 PM
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Cardinals have inquired about Heath Bell's availability with the Padres. If the Padres remain out of contention, they almost certainly would listen to offers for Bell, who will be a free agent after the season.

Even with the recent success of Fernando Salas, the Cardinals are weak in the bullpen. Bell could be just what they need to separate themselves from the rest of the NL. With Bell locked into the closer role, the Cards would be very strong in middle relief with Salas, Sanchez, Motte joined by possibly Boggs and the hopeful return to form of Ryan Franklin. How much better would the Cards be if the would be closers were all performing in middle relief or setup roles?

As always, it would come down to a question of what the Cardinals would have to give up. Bell will likely be a type A free agent, which means the Pads would receive two high draft picks if they offer him compensation and he declines.

I hate to see the Cards give up too much, as he will be tough to re-sign next winter, but this remains a club that is built to win now, especially if Pujols is playing elsewhere next year. I'd like to see the Cards offer a package of a draft pick, maybe Boggs or Motte, and one of the plethora of young infielders they have, one of Greene, Descalso or Kozma. I'd be okay with that in order for the Cards to make a more legitimate run at the 2011 post-season.
June 5, 2011  06:40 PM ET

So how much do you trade away for the rest of this season? The Pads will want a ton for Bell and he's a FA next year

 
June 6, 2011  02:01 PM ET

I wouldn't mind seeing them put a package together to get both Bell and Bartlett...Heck, while we're at it, bring Luddy back. You may not have to give up as much if you package both Bell and Bartlett. I think you could get away with sending Greene, Boggs/Motte, and throw in Freese for good measure...He can't stay healthy anyway. and I like Descalso, and Carpenter. Kozma didn't really get to show us much in his brief stint up with the big club. I'm sure they could put a nice package together that won't mortgage the farm and get some quality back in return.

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