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Rays cut reliever Heath Bell, recall Nathan Karns
Question of the Day
NEW YORK (AP) - Relief pitcher Heath Bell was cut by the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday in a costly move for a normally thrifty team.
“We were kind of strapped in this moment, and we had to do something about it,” manager Joe Maddon said.
A three-time All-Star, Bell was 1-1 with a 7.27 ERA in 13 appearances for the Rays after they acquired him from Arizona in December as part of a three-team trade that included Cincinnati. Tampa Bay still owes the right-hander $7,278,689 this season, though the Rays are receiving $3.5 million from the Diamondbacks as part of the deal to offset a portion of his $9 million salary.
That $3.5 million was money the Miami Marlins agreed to pay Arizona as part of a three-team trade that involved Bell in October 2012.
Karns was scheduled to start Sunday for Durham, so he provided insurance in case the Rays needed an extended outing from a reliever in the series finale against the Yankees. He caught a 9 a.m. flight for his first trip to New York City but did not get in the game.
“Here I am, ready to go,” Karns said in the clubhouse about 2 hours before the first pitch.
Tampa Bay played a doubleheader Thursday in Boston and a 14-inning game Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
The 36-year-old Bell pitched 2 1-3 scoreless innings to earn the win Friday night, then was tagged for three runs and three hits while throwing 28 pitches in one inning Saturday.
“We still see a pretty good upside with him,” Maddon said. “We still think if he gets everything together that we’re going to be rewarded by that patience.”
Bell has 168 saves in 11 seasons with the New York Mets, San Diego, Miami, Arizona and Tampa Bay. He led the majors with 132 saves for the Padres from 2009-11.
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