Though Bell says he felt good this spring and believed he could still contribute at the big league level, family considerations drove his decision. “My kids wanted me home,” he said. “What’s more important: my kids or the big leagues? I’ve already accomplished more than I ever dreamed of. Now it’s time to help them accomplish their dreams.”
Bell, who spent time in the bigs in parts of eleven seasons, will be remembered most for his stint with the Padres. Over five years in San Diego, Bell tossed 374 innings of 2.53 ERA ball while averaging 9.4 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9. In his three seasons as the club’s closer, Bell also racked up 134 saves.
While Bell never regained that form after signing a three-year deal with the Marlins before the 2012 season, there is little question that Bell had a productive overall career. In total, he worked to a 3.49 ERA and logged over 600 frames. Bell broke into the league with the Mets, and also spent time with the Diamondbacks and Rays.
Bell says he may eventually pursue coaching and/or broadcasting, but for now is looking forward to working with his 11-year-old son’s ballclub. He will have plenty of time to ponder his past and his future over the next few days, Brock notes, as Bell is already in the midst of a cross-country RV trip back to his home in San Diego.
MLBTR wishes Bell, and his family, the best of luck in their new endeavors.