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Nationals reportedly release veteran reliever Heath Bell

The Washington Nationals reportedly released veteran reliever Heath Bell this afternoon after the 37-year-old right-hander threw a scoreless inning of relief work against the New York Yankees. Bell signed a minor league deal with the Nats this winter.

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Heath Bell worked a scoreless ninth inning this afternoon in Washington's 7-6 win over the New York Yankees, striking out one batter in a clean frame.

In eight appearances out of the bullpen and 6 ⅓ innings pitched this Spring, the 37-year-old, 11-year veteran gave up seven hits, five walks and five runs, four earned.

After today's game, the Nationals reportedly released Bell, who signed a minor league contract this winter after signing with and being released by three teams last season.

SB Nation writer Chris Cotillo was first with the news of Bell's release today:

Washington Post writer James Wagner confirmed the release with a source after the initial report:

Bell came into camp with the Nationals 40 pounds lighter than he was last season, trying to revive a career that stalled after he signed a 3-year/$27M deal with the Miami Marlins in 2011-2012.

The Marlins traded the reliever the following October after a 2012 campaign in which he was (4-5) with 19 saves, a 5.09 ERA and 3.72 FIP in 73 games and 63 ⅔ IP over which he walked 29 (4.10 BB/9) and K'd 59 (8.34 K/9).

In his last full season in the majors, in 2013, Bell was (5-2) with 15 saves, a 4.11 ERA, 4.10 FIP, 16 walks (2.19 BB/9) and 72 Ks (9.87 K/9) in 65 ⅔ IP.

His chances of earning a spot in the Nationals' bullpen were slim from the start. Did he do enough to convince another team to give him a shot?'s Bill Ladson confirmed the news with Bell after the other reports this afternoon: