heath bell getty

Nationals sign Heath Bell


Heath Bell, who got knocked around for the Rays to begin this year and then spent most of the season at Triple-A for the Yankees’ affiliate, has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Nationals.

Bell was an All-Star closer as recently as 2011 and struck out 72 batters in 66 innings in 2013, but he was a mess for Tampa Bay this year and wasn’t any better in the minors.

At age 37 he looks done, but on a minor-league contract there’s no risk involved for the Nationals and perhaps Bell still has another 50 decent innings in him as a middle reliever.

Yankees release Heath Bell

heath bell getty

Heath Bell signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees on June 13, but after five unimpressive appearances at Triple-A they’ve released the 36-year-old reliever.

Bell was previously released from Triple-A by the Orioles, who signed him to a minor-league deal after he was cut from the Rays’ big-league team. Overall this season he has a 5.40 ERA in 17 innings at Triple-A and a 7.27 ERA in 17 innings as a big leaguer.

Also of note: Bell is still being paid $9 million this season as part of his original $27 million contract with the Marlins, who dumped him on the Rays in December while agreeing to cover about half of that money.

Yankees sign Heath Bell to a minor league deal

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees

The Yankees have signed veteran reliever Heath Bell to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Chad Jennings of the LoHud.com reports. To make room for him on the RailRiders roster, right-handed pitcher Mark Montgomery was moved from Triple-A to Double-A Trenton.

Bell, 36, opted out of his minor league deal with the Orioles on Sunday when he learned that he wasn’t a candidate for a promotion at the time. He had signed with the club on May 16 after having been released by the Rays days prior.

In 17 1/3 innings at the major league level with the Rays, Bell posted a 7.27 ERA with a 12/8 K/BB ratio. With Triple-A Norfolk in the Orioles’ system, Bell posted a 4.22 ERA with an 11/6 K/BB ratio in 10 2/3 innings.

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Heath Bell opts out of minor league contract with Orioles

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees

Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that veteran reliever Heath Bell has opted out of his minor league contract with the Orioles and is now a free agent.

Bell as released by the Rays last month after posting an ugly 7.27 ERA over 13 appearances. The 36-year-old right-hander quickly latched on with the Orioles from there and put up a 4.22 ERA and 11/6 K/BB ratio over 10 2/3 innings with Triple-A Norfolk.

Those numbers weren’t good enough for Bell to get a call-up with the Orioles, so he’ll attempt to find an opportunity with another organization. He’ll likely have to accept another minor league deal.