Heath Bell designated for assignment

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

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.

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