Yankees sign 2009 NL saves leader Bell to minor-league deal

Heath Bell was released by Tampa Bay after posting a 7.27 ERA in 13 games this season.

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OAKLAND, Calif. — The New York Yankees signed three-time All-Star closer Heath Bell to a minor-league contract.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed Bell’s signing before New York played at Oakland on Friday night. Bell will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Bell was released by Tampa Bay on May 4 after going 1-1 with a 7.27 ERA in 13 appearances this season. The Rays acquired Bell from Arizona in December as part of a three-team trade.

Bell has 168 saves in 11 seasons with the New York Mets, San Diego, Miami, Arizona and Tampa Bay. He led the majors with 132 saves for the Padres from 2009-11 — and led the NL with 42 saves in 2009.