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.
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.
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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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.