Bell, son of former major league player and manager Buddy Bell, played in eight games for the Memphis Redbirds (AAA) as a utility player, hitting .071 with one RBI. Redbirds manager Danny Sheaffer said Bell's decision had nothing to do with playing time.
''It was based upon a mutual agreement between he and his wife, I'm sure,'' Sheaffer told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. ''He's been a professional ever since I met him. For an athlete to admit that he's going to retire, it's the hardest thing to do. I had to do it. He's got a great reputation in the game. He's a smart player.
''He'll probably be back in turf shoes someday on the coaching side of it, if he chooses that. He comes from a great baseball family. It takes a lot of guts to say you don't want to do this anymore.''
Bell signed a minor league contract with the Cardinals in January.
Drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 1st round (30th pick) of the 1993 amateur draft, the utility infielder made it to the major leagues for a cup of coffee and 19 games in 2000 for the Cincinnati Reds.
Mike, a third generation major league ballplayer, his father was Buddy Bell and his grand-father was Gus Bell, who was a four-time All-Star, who hit more than 200 homers and teamed with Buddy for more than 4,300 career hits.
Buddy retired as a player following the 1989 season, having put up 2,514 hits, 201 homers (five fewer than his Dad) and a .279 career average.