The KBO League’s Hanwha Eagles have placed left-hander Chad Bell on release waivers, according to Jeeho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency. Bell has spent the last two seasons pitching in South Korea, re-signing with the Eagles last November for a one-year, $900K contract.
Bell earned that new deal after a strong 2019 season that saw him post a 3.50 ERA, 2.13 K/BB rate, and 6.8 K/9 over 177 1/3 innings (29 starts). Bell had never pitched more than 142 1/3 innings in any of his previous nine pro seasons, and it’s possible that the additional workload last year could have led to his injury-plagued 2020 campaign. Forearm, shoulder, and elbow problems limited Bell’s effectiveness and eventually brought a premature end to his season after 77 innings and a 5.96 ERA.
Originally a 14th-round pick for the Rangers back in the 2009 draft, Bell spent eight seasons in the Texas, Atlanta, and Detroit farm systems before heading for the KBO following the 2018 season. The southpaw’s Major League resume consists of 69 2/3 innings with the Tigers in 2017-18, with Bell posting a 7.11 ERA, 1.94 K/BB, and 8.3 K/9.
Once the Hanwha Eagles release you, it’s time to stop.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
The Eagles must think pretty highly of him if they waited this long to designate him for release. Because the way the KBO works is you can’t add another US/foreign player to your roster without getting rid of one already on the roster. So basically what happens if a guy is struggling and/or as hurt as Bell has been is they’ll be released really early on or as soon as they hit the DL so that the team can immediately replace him with another foreign player. But seeing as they stuck with him through the injuries and struggles they obviously felt if healthy that they thought he’d be able to get back on track and be a better option than anyone else they could’ve hypothetically added in his place. Given that… if he gets healthy maybe he’ll wind up with another shot in the KBO next year. If he were to have repeated the 3.50 ERA over 177 IP like he did in 2019 he may have even had a chance at a ML deal this off-season but given how rough his 2020 has been that seems highly unlikely.
Peart of the game
With his poor K/BB rates, probably not. What kept him around so long is because the Hanuwa Eagles front office/ownership believed that if Chad Bell was healthy finally he could pick up where he left off in the last 10 games of his 2019 season. That and they’re in dead last in the KBO. Otherwise, Brandon Barnes might have also been released by now.
They probably just had very few options. Korea has a mandatory 14 day quarantine for foreigners traveling into the country. That, plus, it’s probably pretty hard to find a free agent pitcher right now who’s anywhere close to game shape and wants to go overseas and wants to play for the worst team in the KBO. Someone who hits all those criteria right now is probably not much better than Chad Bell.
Time to move on to the next phase of his life.