Heath Bell granted release by the Rays, becomes free agent

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Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays have granted Heath Bell his release, a week after they designated the right-hander for assignment.

Bell, 36, struggled in his brief time with the Rays, posting a 7.27 ERA in 17 1/3 innings over 13 relief appearances. He has not found success since leaving sunny San Diego following the 2011 season. In the time since, he has joined the Marlins, Diamondbacks, and Rays and has a disappointing 4.91 ERA to show for it.

Still, considering that Joel Hanrahan recently found work with the Tigers, it’s hard to imagine Bell getting passed over by 29 teams, most of which could use a veteran arm in the bullpen.

Phillies talking to Blue Jays about Curtis Granderson

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies are talking to the Blue Jays about outfielder Curtis Granderson.

Rosenthal says that the Phillies are looking at Granderson as a bench bat and fourth outfielder to be deployed against righties. Granderson, 37, is hitting .230/.337/.417 with nine homers and 29 RBI over 81 games this season, substantially better against righties. Against lefties he’s a clear liability.

Granderson was traded at last year’s deadline too, from the Mets to the Dodgers, but cratered badly after arriving in L.A. and was a non-entity in the playoffs.