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Orioles sign right-handed reliever Heath Bell to minor league deal

Right-handed reliever Heath Bell, who was released by the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, signed a minor league deal with the Orioles on Friday night and will report to Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday.

A former, three-time All Star closer with the San Diego Padres, the 36-year-old Bell has struggled since signing a three-year, $27 million deal with the Miami Marlins before the 2012 season.

He has been traded twice since then and compiled a 7.27 ERA in 13 games with the Rays this year before being released.

"Bell is a proven veteran pitcher with experience who has agreed to a Triple-A deal," Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said in a text message. "We believe he can help our major league club later this season."

Terms of the minor league deal have not been announced, but, based on the league’s salary structure, the Orioles will only be on the hook for a prorated portion of the minimum major league salary of $500,000 if and when he is brought to the big leagues

Bell has compiled a 4.91 ERA in his past three seasons with the Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks and Rays. In that span he converted 34 of 49 save chances after converting 43 of 48 for the Padres in 2011.

Fox Sports first reported that Bell had agreed to terms.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

twitter.com/danconnollysun

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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