A trade that would send Texas Rangers third baseman Buddy Bell to the Cincinnati Reds apparently was approved yesterday, but both clubs refused to confirm the transaction and there were reports a snag had developed.

Bell said he was late for Texas' game at Detroit last night, which the Rangers won, 3-2, because he had been in Cincinnati, where he approved in principle a contract with the Reds.

"As far as I'm concerned, the contract situation with the Reds was taken care of in 15 minutes this morning," Bell said. "I don't know what the hangup was. I don't know what held it up unless it was players."

Reds outfielder Duane Walker said he was one of the players involved. Walker said he was told he was going to Texas during a closed-door session with Cincinnati player-manager Pete Rose following the Reds' 6-3 loss to Philadelphia last night. At least one other Reds player, a minor-leaguer, is believed to be part of the deal.

In the game last night, Juan Samuel had three hits and knocked in two runs as Philadelphia ended a five-game losing streak with the victory over slump-ridden Mario Soto (8-11).