Bell is a closer who isn't getting much work, and he's headed for free agency this winter. The Padres briefly broached a contract extension with him this spring, but those talks were very general and have not been revisited since camp ended.
"I love it here, and I don't want to go anywhere," says Bell, who just had a house built in the area. "But because I've beat that drum into the ground, I think people are tired of hearing it."
Because the Padres were 19-29 and last in the NL West heading into the middle game of a three-game set with St. Louis on Tuesday, the reality is that odds of a trade are increasing.
Several clubs -- including Texas, according to CBSSports.com sources -- have inquired recently about Bell. The Padres, not yet eager to pull the trigger, are in listen-only mode and, sources say, want to wait a little longer and see how things play out.
As for the Padres, barring a dramatic turnaround, there will be no reason not to deal Bell.
He's pitched in just three of the last 14 games. Petco Park, where the Padres went 45-36 last summer, has turned into their very own little shop of horrors in these post-Adrian Gonzalez days.
The Padres are 8-19 at Petco, the worst home record in the majors. Six of their nine shutouts this season have come at home. The splits bear out the carnage: In 27 home games so far, the Padres are hitting .202 with just 60 runs scored. In 21 road games, the Padres are hitting .265 with 106 runs scored.
Manager Bud Black held a stern team meeting following Sunday's loss, the finale of a three-game sweep by Seattle.
"I'll give it everything I have for the Padres until the team says otherwise," Bell says. "Until Jed [Hoyer, Padres general manager] tells me I'm no longer a San Diego Padre.
"In my own quirky head, I still think something will happen at the end of the year and I'll stay here. It's wait-and-see. But I understand the business part. We've got to play well and get some fans in here."
Likes: Boston at Cleveland meaning something for both teams in late May. ... Kyle McClellan, the Cardinals' starter who is doing a great job of stepping in for fallen mate Adam Wainwright. ... The job general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson are doing in Arizona. ... Secretariat. Caught up with it on DVD the other night. Very enjoyable. ... The Reagan Diaries. Whatever your political persuasion, it's a fascinating peek behind the Oval Office curtain. But jeez, does the man ever whine every time Nancy leaves town. ("With Nancy gone, I think this must be the loneliest place in the world."). ... The music of Treme, the great HBO show starring New Orleans (along with real actors).
Dislikes: Aw, Animal Kingdom ran second in the Preakness. There goes my interest in horse racing for the season.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Sittin' in the kitchen, a house in Macon
"Loretta's singing on the radio
"Smell of coffee eggs and bacon
"Car wheels on a gravel road
"Pull the curtains back and look outside
"Somebody, somehere I don't know
"Come on now child we're gonna go for a ride
"Car wheels on a gravel road"
-- Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road