Nationals Sign Josh Bard

10:04pm: Jack Etkin at Inside The Rockies has some details on the Bard signing. He writes that the Red Sox "decided to keep George Kottaras, 25, who was out of options" as a back up for Jason Varitek. Etkin continues:

"By releasing Bard on Wednesday, the deadline for paying  a player 30 days termination pay, the Red Sox owed him about $279,000. Had they waited one more day to release him, they would have owed Bard 45 days termination pay or about $418,000."

7:42pm: Chico Harlan of the Washington Post writes that Bard will join what Nationals GM Mike Rizzo calls "a competitive situation." Bard will battle Wil Nieves and Javier Valentin for the backup catcher spot.

2:26pm: According to's Bill Ladson, the Nationals signed catcher Josh Bard to a minor league deal.  Bard had been signed but then released by the Red Sox.

Bard, 31 in March, had a couple of pretty solid seasons for the Padres in 2006 and 2007.  He dealt with ankle and elbow injuries last year.  It's a nice signing for the Nationals.

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