Heath Bell, who was released by the Nationals on Monday, told Corey Brock of MLB.com on Tuesday he has decided to call it a career. "My kids wanted me home," Bell said. "What's more important: my kids or the big leagues? I've already accomplished more than I ever dreamed of. Now it's time to help them accomplish their dreams." Bell, 37, spent his MLB career with five different teams, but saw his most successful stint with the Padres from 2007-2011. The right-hander earned three trips to the All-Star game during his stint with the Padres, registering a 2.53 ERA with 134 saves as the team's closer. He reached at least 40 saves in each of his three All-Star seasons. Bell finished his big-league career with a 3.49 ERA and 168 saves.
The Nationals have released pitcher Heath Bell, MLBDailyDish.com reports. Bell has pitched for four different teams over the last four years but struggled the most in 2014, when he posted a 7.27 ERA and 12:8 K:BB ratio in 17 1/3 innings with the Rays. The former closer has racked up 168 career saves.
Nationals reliever Heath Bell reported to camp in the best shape of his life, according to The Washington Post. Bell claims to have lost 40 pounds during the offseason in an attempt to get in better shape for the season. After signing a minor-league deal with the club during the offseason, Bell will have to earn his spot on the major-league roster during the spring. Bell said he wanted to make a good impression with his new club. "I wanted to come into camp and people say, 'He works his butt off,'" Bell said. "I still need to get people out. It's just gonna make me look nicer." In order to get in better shape, Bell trained for two triathlons during the offseason. He also made sure to eat healthier. While Bell faces an uphill climb in order to make the team, he believes he can do so if he performs. "I feel like my chances are how I perform on the mound and getting batters out." Bell posted a 7.27 ERA over 17 1/3 innings last year.
Since leaving the Padres after the 2011 season, three-time All-Star reliever Heath Bell has had his fair share of struggles. The veteran right-handed pitcher has gone 10-8 with a 4.91 ERA and 34 saves since 2012 for the Marlins, Diamondbacks and Rays. Bell is now seeking redemption after a few down years, but he will need to pitch his way back into the majors, as he heads to spring training on a minor-league deal with the Nationals. "I think the last three years I've had really bad luck," Bell told The Washington Post. "And I haven't been hitting my spots. I take ownership for what I've done. I feel like I've done an okay job but I haven't in other aspects and need to be a lot better. "I need to go to Washington this year, come to spring training and show that I can get people out and deserve to be on the team and go out there and give it my all. If [Manager] Matt Williams and the coaches there think I can help the ballclub out, then great. I think they think I can help. That's why I went to D.C. and that's why they're interested. Now I need to go out there, shut up and do it on the field." Bell's struggles began in 2012 with the Marlins after he signed a three-year, $27 million deal. He said "something happened" to him mechanically with the Marlins that he "couldn't get back from it." However, Bell said he made some tweaks to his mechanics and pitching style, and added he finally feels comfortable again. "My arm feels amazing," he said. "It feels really good. A lot better than it has in the past. I've done stuff that I haven't done in years."
The Nationals have signed former standout closer Heath Bell to a minor league contract, a source has told MLBDailyDish.com. Bell was released by the Yankees in June, though he did not pitch for them at the major league level. He stumbled along with a 7.27 ERA earlier in the season with Tampa Bay.
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