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Heath Bell designated for assignment

The Tampa Bay Rays have designated former All-Star closer Heath Bell for assignment.

The Rays announced the decision prior to Sunday's game against the New York Yankees, promoting right-hander Nathan Karns from the minors to fill Bell's roster spot.

Bell, a three-time All-Star with the San Diego Padres, posted a 7.27 ERA in 13 games this season with the Rays.

The Rays will have 10 days to trade or release Bell before the 36-year-old can be sent to one of their minor league affiliates.

Bell has a 4.91 ERA in parts of three seasons since signing a three-year, $27 million contract with the Miami Marlins before the 2012 season.

The beleaguered Rays bullpen entered play Sunday with a combined 4.23 ERA over 110 2/3 innings -- the highest total in the American League.

Related Video
Struggling Bell Designated For Assignment
Struggling Bell Designated For Assignment
ESPN.com MLB editor Christina Kahrl explains why struggling Rays closer Heath Bell has been designated for assignment.

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