Nationals sign Heath Bell

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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.