NEW YORK, N.Y. - Relief pitcher Heath Bell has been cut by the Tampa Bay Rays in a costly move for a normally thrifty team.
Needing a fresh long man in the bullpen, the Rays recalled right-hander Nathan Karns from Triple-A Durham and designated Bell for assignment before Sunday's series finale against the New York Yankees.
Bell, a three-time All-Star, was 1-1 with a 7.27 ERA in 13 appearances for the Rays after they acquired the right-hander from Arizona in December as part of a three-team trade that also included Cincinnati. Tampa Bay still owes him about $4.5 million this season.
Karns was scheduled to start Sunday for Durham, so he provides protection if the Rays need more than a couple of innings from a reliever. Tampa Bay played a doubleheader Thursday in Boston and a 14-inning game Friday night at Yankee Stadium.