Yankees sign Heath Bell to minor league contract

6/13-6/15 Series Preview: Oakland Athletics
Friday Night Open Thread

The Yankees have signed former All-Star closer Heath Bell to a minor league contract, according to Chad Jennings. The struggling Mark Montgomery was demoted from Triple-A Scranton to Double-A Trenton to clear a roster spot. He’s walked 18 in 29.1 innings this year.

Bell, 36, had a 7.27 ERA (4.52 FIP) in 17.1 innings for the Rays before being released earlier this year. He spent some time in Triple-A with the Orioles after that (4.22 ERA and 3.24 FIP in 10.2 innings), but eventually opted out of his contract when they didn’t add him to the MLB roster. Triple-A Scranton currently has six pitchers on the disabled list and they simply need some arms to abuse the next few weeks. Bell will be that guy.

6/13-6/15 Series Preview: Oakland Athletics
Friday Night Open Thread
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek Roadgeek Adam

    I don’t know what worries me more, Bell being signed or Mark Montgomery falling from grace?

    • Christ Is King

      has mark really fallen?

    • I’m One

      Clearly Montgomery. Not sure he fell from grace as much as he’s not performing up to expectations. Bell is simply filler. Montgomery was actually a possibility for the MLB bullpen.

    • nycsportzfan

      It makes no sense. Clearly you have more in Preson Claiborne and probably even Matt Daley , and hopefully Mark Montgomery to go signing this used up bum. I woulden’t even want him taking up a spot on the GCL roster.

      • Preston

        Claiborne is clearly a better option. As for Daley tell me who’s 2014 line is better?

        17.1 IP 6.23 K/9 4.15 BB/9 66.7% GB 7.27 ERA 4.52 FIP
        13 IP 6.23 K/9 4.15 BB/0 22% GB 4.85 ERA 6.31 FIP

        I’ll take my chances that Bell’s ERA evens out in a larger sample given that he’s getting more GBs. It’s not like Daley is young and promising, he’s 31.

  • Nuke Guy

    Nothing wrong with a minor league contract for any player. Sucks about Montgomery though. Hopefully he straightens himself out soon. I’ve had high hopes for him for a couple of years.

  • Preston

    Neither should worry you at all. Bell is just bullpen depth and prospects disappoint all the time. This didn’t happen overnight for Montgomery. It’s about as surprising as Heathcott getting his knee scoped at this point.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso
  • vicki

    the season is saved!

    • LarryM Fl

      My thoughts exactly!

  • Chip Rodriguez

    No issues if it’s just to have an extra arm to abuse in the minors.

    If Bell gets called up to bolster the major bullpen though, hit the panic button.

    • Preston

      Why? We’ve used plenty of guys in the 6th and 7th slots of the pen that are much worse than Bell. I’d rather give innings to Bell than Leblanc, Billings, Cabral and Leroux. He’s probably better than Aceves and Huff too. Although I think Claiborne is probably the guy that should get called up next when the bullpen needs another arm.

  • tom

    Montgomery has sucked in last 10 games. Too many walks. Location issue or overusing sliders? I dunno.

  • TWTR

    Reliever OCD.

  • forensic

    Sergio Mitre, please pick up the white courtesy phone…

    Like many are saying, I’m sure there’s no way he’ll appear in pinstripes though. It’s not like that was said about any of Billings, Leroux, and Aceves. It would’ve been said about LeBlanc and Huff too, but there was no time to since they were clearly good enough to come right to the big team.

    Preparing for Bell’s Yankees debut in 5, 4, 3…

  • Dicka24

    Whatever happened to Ryan Madson?

    • Preston

      He is one of the few who didn’t come back from TJ surgery (and exhibit A of the reason all teams should use surgery as a last resort). He sat out all of 2012 with the injury, signed with the Angels and managed only one minor league inning in A ball. He wasn’t signed this off-season and he’s probably done in professional baseball.

      • forensic

        Are you trying to say that because one or maybe a couple of guys haven’t had success after the surgery, that teams should heed those cases as the likely outcomes rather than the tons of successful surgeries and nearly zero cases of successful returns after trying just rehab (which only delays the inevitable)?

        • Preston

          Just like people are more than willing to spend others money, they are more than willing to have others get invasive surgery. Surgery should never be a first option. At the very least you need a second opinion, if not a wait period to see if the condition substantially changes, or a full rehab program. That’s just common sense.

          • forensic

            Of course get a second opinion, just like they all do. That’s not even a consideration in this.

            But, if two or even three doctors tell you the same thing, then get the damn surgery. Don’t sit around for 3-4 months hoping the ligament spontaneously reattaches to itself when it’s been shown that it’s just not going to happen. Doctors, especially the ones not employed by the team, have an oath and are sworn to tell you truth and recommend the best course of treatment to follow to correct your maladies and injuries. Ignoring them and the evidence seems pretty foolhardy and nonsensical, not common sense, to me.

            And I don’t know what the money thing has to do with this. I’m not one who’s ever said that.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    Per Bryan Hoch: Girardi says Pineda out until at least August

  • LarryM Fl

    Lets get the evaluate the trade talk started up again! Cashman failed.

  • paul

    Another bum!! Wow, what a couple hundred pitchers in our minor leagues and none is good enough to beat out Bell?Nope, just Cashman will not use or give them a chance, wants over the hill bums

    • Preston

      The pen consists of home grown players like Robertson, Warren, Betances, Jose Ramirez, and the rotation has David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Chase Whitley in it. But Cashman gets one veteran reliever on an MiLB contract to stash at AAA and he’s not giving the kids a chance? It takes some serious intellectual dishonesty to come to that conclusion.

      • http://www.iamplinythewelder.blogspot.com bpdelia

        Sigh. I often understand the casual fans frustration at old retreads as starters. I can see a legitimate problem with Roberts still starting. But seriously. The bullpen! For YEARS the team has featured good, young, cheap home grown bullpens and THIS year you have closer (awesome home grown player, setup (awesome homegrown player)(setup (very good guy the Yankees basically stole), fireman (awesome home grown player), middle relief (potentially dominant home grown player.), middle relief (serviceable home grown player), second lefty (basically home grown player. Fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth starters ALL home grown players who have been anywhere from usable to good with another good homegrown player out with Tommy John surgery.

        That was total nonsense. Almost as if it was posted on the wrong teams blog

        • ChucIt

          I get where your’e coming from.The strength of the staff is IN the pen,and management hasn’t noticed? A waste of time & money, unless they’re working on a trade for a Starter.

      • mikhel

        Nuño is not a homegrown arm, he was initially developed by the Indians i think. But your point stands.

    • Jorge Steibrenner

      First name commenter strikes again.

  • Jorge Steibrenner

    Overreacting on a depth signing while continuing to overrate a stalled relief prospect. Just another day at the office.

    • Ty

      Go Fuck Yourself you Pollyanna Prick

      • trr

        Thanks for the helpful post Ty!