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07/28/11 5:49 PM ET
Rangers making play for Padres' Bell
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are pushing hard for Padres reliever Heath Bell as Sunday's Trade Deadline approaches.
Club officials have stressed that the Rangers are looking for bullpen help on multiple fronts and talking to several clubs. Florida closer Leo Nunez has also been a reliever of interest to the Rangers.
But Bell appears to be the Rangers' No. 1 target and they have had multiple conversations with the Padres. A deal is not imminent and the Padres have a high asking price. Bell can be a Type A free agent after the season and the Padres could get two draft picks as compensation if he signs with another team.
That is the baseline for what they are looking for in any deal for Bell. The Padres have scouted the Rangers Double-A Frisco team extensively with particular interest in pitchers Joe Wieland, Robbie Erlin and Tanner Scheppers.
The Rangers have made it no secret that acquiring bullpen help is their No. 1 priority. Their bullpen had a 4.48 ERA going into Thursday's game with the Rangers, tied for the third highest in the American League.
Bell, who was named to the National League All-Star team earlier this season, has a 2.40 ERA and 29 saves.
The Padres are in last place in the National League but they have a deep bullpen that includes right-handers Mike Adams, Chad Qualls and Luke Gregerson.