Rays designate Heath Bell for assignment

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 36-year old will be traded, released or waived within the next ten days.

The Tampa Bay Rays designated reliever Heath Bell for assignment on Sunday in order to make room for callup Nathan Karns, according to a team announcement. The team will now have ten days to trade, release or waive Bell.

Bell, who was acquired from the Diamondbacks in a three-team trade last December, was 1-1 with a 7.27 ERA in 17.1 innings over 13 appearances for Tampa. They are responsible for $5.5M of his $9M salary for this season, making their decision to cut him loose a bit of a surprising one.

Although Bell has struggled out of the gate this season, he may draw trade interest from teams with struggling bullpens who could use a veteran arm. The Astros, Blue Jays, Phillies and White Sox come to mind as potential destinations for the 36-year old, who is just three years removed from being named to the NL All-Star team.

In eleven major league seasons with the Mets (2004-2006), Padres (2007-2011), Marlins (2012), Diamondbacks (2013) and Rays (2014), Bell has a lifetime 38-32 record and 3.49 ERA while posting 168 saves in 590 appearances. He was an All-Star for the Padres in 2009, 2010 and 2011, finishing eighth in NL Cy Young award voting after posting a 1.93 ERA and saving 47 games in 2010.

Karns, 26, is 2-2 with an 8.20 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Durham so far this season. He was acquired in an offseason trade that sent Jose Lobaton to the Nationals.

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