Daniel Bard Rumors

Rangers Release Daniel Bard

The Rangers have released Daniel Bard, according to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News.  Texas signed the 28-year-old to a minor league deal in late January.

Bard was once a dominant setup man for the Red Sox, but following an outstanding run from 2009-11, things have deteriorated significantly.  A failed experiment by the Red Sox to move him into the rotation saw the beginning of severe control problems for Bard and health issues haven’t helped things either.

In those strong three seasons for the Red Sox, Bard posted a 2.88 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9.  In a handful of outings for the Rangers’ Single-A affiliate this season, Bard allowed 13 runs, allowed nine walks, and hit seven batters.


Rangers Notes: Globe Life, Bard, Cubs, Bonuses

Here's the latest out of Arlington…

  • The Rangers officially announced their new stadium naming rights deal with Globe Life And Accident Insurance Company today, as Rangers Ballpark will now be known as Globe Life Park In Arlington.  Financial terms of the deal weren't announced, though it is a 10-year agreement the between the club and Globe Life.
  • Some fans may balk at the idea of a corporate name on the stadium, ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett writes, but the financial benefits of sponsorship can't be ignored.  Durrett also notes that the naming rights deal is the latest example of how the Rangers have one of baseball's "most financially stable teams."
  • Appearing on a podcast with WEEI's Rob Bradford (partial transcript provided by WEEI.com's Arjuna Ramgopal), Daniel Bard said that the Rangers showed interest in his services after the reliever's thoracic outlet syndrome surgery last month.  Before Bard underwent the procedure, he said that he had drawn interest from a few teams, including the Cubs.  Texas, however, "came in strong and made me feel really welcome and wanted. It just felt like a good fit," Bard said.
  • Fans and pundits have become accustomed to seeing salaries in terms of how they fit a club's payroll, but even modest bonuses by MLB standards are life-changing amounts of money — especially for young players from tough backgrounds in the Dominican Republic, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes.  Wilson looks at how the Rangers' signings of such prospects as Jairo Beras and Michael De Leon helped those players bring their families out of poverty, while other prospects (Ronald Guzman and Nomar Mazara) came from middle-class backgrounds.

Rangers To Sign Daniel Bard

The Rangers have reached an agreement with right-hander Daniel Bard, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported earlier today that the two sides were nearing agreement on a minor league contract (also via Twitter). Bard is a client of Relativity Baseball.

The 28-year-old Bard was once a dominant setup man for the Red Sox, but following an outstanding run from 2009-11, Boston tried to move him back to the rotation, which triggered a series of problems for Bard. For one, he seemingly lost all semblance of control, as he's walked 45 batters over his past 60 1/3 Major League innings. He hasn't fared any better in the minors, as he's issued 56 walks in his past 47 1/3 minor league frames.

Bard has also been troubled by injuries. He underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery earlier this month, according to Wilson. He also missed time at Triple-A with a strained abdomen last season. Bard will look to fight his way into a bullpen that is headlined by Neftali Feliz, Tanner Scheppers, Joakim Soria, Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts.



Rangers Nearing Deal With Daniel Bard

The Rangers are closing in on a minor league deal with right-hander Daniel Bard, reports Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter).

The 28-year-old Bard was once a dominant setup man for the Red Sox, but following an outstanding run from 2009-11, Boston tried to move him back to the rotation, which triggered a series of problems for Bard. For one, he seemingly lost all semblance of control, as he's walked 45 batters over his past 60 1/3 Major League innings. He hasn't fared any better in the minors, as he's issued 56 walks in his past 47 1/3 minor league frames.

Bard has also been troubled by injuries. He underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery earlier this month, according to Wilson. He also missed time at Triple-A with a strained abdomen last season.

This post was originally published on Jan. 31.


National League Non-Tenders

Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2014 season. We'll run down the list of National League non-tenders here. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR's Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates as well. Also of use will be our Arbitration Eligibles series, which includes Matt Swartz's projected 2014 salaries for all arbitration eligible players.

  • The Reds non-tendered outfielders Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson, according to the AP.  Robinson had been designated for assignment last Thursday to open a roster spot for Skip Schumaker.
  • The Rockies have non-tendered reliever Mitchell Boggs, tweets Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
  • The Dodgers have non-tendered Ronald Belisario, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
  • The Marlins have non-tendered outfielder Chris Coghlan and reliever Ryan Webb, the club announced via press release.
  • The Pirates have non-tendered Garrett Jones, Michael McKenry, and Kyle McPherson, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  • The Giants have non-tendered Sandy Rosario and Francisco Peguero, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • The Cubs have non-tendered Mat Gamel, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The club has also non-tendered Chang-Yong Lim, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com. 
  • The Mets officially announced their slate of non-tenders, which includes a few new names in Jeremy Hefner and Justin Turner (via tweet from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News).
  • The Braves announced that they have non-tendered infielders Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish as well as right-hander Cristhian Martinez (Twitter link). Johnson, 29, batted .209/.255/.283 in 275 plate appearances between the Royals and Braves last season. Janish was less productive in 45 PAs, batting .171/.222/.220. Martinez, 31, missed nearly the entire season due to shoulder surgery. However, he posted a 3.63 ERA in 151 1/3 innings for Atlanta from 2011-12, making him a potential buy-low candidate for another club.
  • The Mets have non-tendered Jordany Valdespin, Rubin reports. Valdespin has been a persistent source of drama for the Mets, lashing out at manager Terry Collins after being demoted and also being slapped with a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is a career .219/.271/.380 hitter in 350 big league plate appearances. Valdespin's non-tender comes despite him not yet being arbitration eligible, illustrating the Mets' frustration with the second baseman/outfielder.
  • The Cubs will non-tender right-hander Daniel Bard, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago. Bard was claimed off waivers in September and never threw a pitch for the Cubs organization. WEEI.com's Rob Bradford notes that Bard was pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League but walked nine batters while recording just one out. The Cubs could still agree to a non-roster deal with Bard, he adds. Bard's control has vanished into thin air, as the formerly dominant setup man has also walked 56 batters over his past 47 1/3 minor league frames.
  • The Mets have informed shortstop Omar Quintanilla that he will be non-tendered, Quintanilla told Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger. Quintanilla projected to earn $900K this offseason after batting .222/.306/.283 in a career-high 359 plate appearances last season.
  • ESPN's Adam Rubin tweets that the Mets will also non-tender Scott Atchison. The right-hander projected to earn $1.3MM coming off a 4.37 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 45 1/3 innings. Atchison will turn 38 in late March.

NL Central Notes: Cardinals, Freese, Brewers, Bard

The NL Central features a pair of matchups this afternoon each at a different end of the spectrum. The division-leading Cardinals are hosting the Pirates and lead Pittsburgh by one-half game while the Brewers and Cubs are at Wrigley Field battling to avoid the cellar. The Brewers sit in fourth place by only one game. In other news and notes from the NL Central:

  • The first place Cardinals can thank their deep farm system (especially in terms of pitching reinforcements) for their place in the standings, but it has had a ripple effect throughout the entire system, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • Bernie Miklasz, Goold's colleague at the Post-Dispatch, agrees the Cardinals' young talent has been a tremendous resource; but, with Allen Craig nursing a sprained foot, the club will turn to a grizzled playoff veteran: David Freese.
  • The Brewers have a glaring hole at first base with seven different players starting there this season, but Juan Francisco's audition to win the job for 2014 hasn't gone well, opines Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Since a two-home run, four-RBI game against the Rangers on August 14, Francisco has slumped with only seven hits in 44 at bats (.159), two RBIs, and 23 strikeouts.
  • In an recent online chat, Rosiak explained trading either Yovani Gallardo or Kyle Lohse this offseason wouldn't make sense because it would create more holes in a rotation which already doesn't have enough proven arms.
  • Within that same chat, Rosiak can envision the Brewers cutting ties with Rickie Weeks citing the recent examples of Bill Hall, Jeff Suppan, and Randy Wolf. Rosiak notes those three cases occurred in the final year of their contracts, which is what Weeks is entering in 2014.
  • Right-hander Daniel Bard, claimed on waivers by the Cubs last Wednesday, threw his second bullpen session today, but there is still no timetable for him to see any game action, reports MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.  "It’d be nice to see but it’s his timetable and we’ll evaluate and we’ll find out how he’s doing and how he’s feeling," said manager Dale Sveum. Bard is eligible for arbitration this winter.
  • Earlier today, the Cubs designated infielder Cody Ransom for assignment to create roster space for right-hander Scott Baker, who is making his first MLB appearance in two years.  

Central Links: Pinto, Mauer, Peralta, Baker, Bard

As the Cubs and Brewers square off in the first of a four-game series that could have serious implications on the 2014 MLB draft (one game separates the two teams who stand to pick fourth and fifth, respectively), let's take a look at baseball's Central divisions…

  • The Twins don't feel that rookie Josmil Pinto is far from being a starting catcher at the Major League level, writes Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The 24-year-old Venezuelan hit .309/.400/.482 with 15 homers and an 83-to-66 K/BB ratio between Double-A and Triple-A this season and has seven hits in his first 10 big league at-bats. As Miller notes, Pinto's emergence makes Joe Mauer's future position "more unknown than ever." Twins GM Terry Ryan told Miller he "doesn't know exactly what [Mauer is] going to end up doing" in 2014. Minnesota also has 25-year-old Chris Herrmann and veteran Ryan Doumit on the roster. Herrmann and Doumit are both capable of playing the corner outfield positions.
  • Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski is currently in the process of deciding whether or not to bring Jhonny Peralta back to the club for a potential postseason run, writes James Schmehl of MLive.com. Dombrowski says Peralta was forthright and handled the situation as best he could. The Tigers, of course, acquired Jose Iglesias to man shortstop in Peralta's stead and in the long-term at the trade deadline. Bringing Peralta back would likely displace one of Don Kelly, Matt Tuiasosopo or Ramon Santiago from the roster.
  • Bruce Levine and Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com write that Scott Baker will make his season debut for the Cubs this Sunday — his first Major League start since Sept. 24, 2011. Baker underwent Tommy John surgery in Spring Training of 2012 with the Twins and signed a one-year, $5.5MM contract with the Cubs this offseason. Clearly, Chicago was hoping for an earlier return, but arm soreness in Spring Training of this season shut him down. Baker posted a 3.14 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 for Minnesota in 2011.
  • New Cubs reliever Daniel Bard told MLB.com's Carrie Muskat that he was ready to hit free agency this offseason after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox and was pleasantly surprised to hear from Cubs president Theo Epstein when he was claimed. Bard doesn't feel that his struggles have resulted from switching from a relief role to a starting role, but rather from trying to change too much about his arsenal in the process: "I could’ve just taken the pitcher I was in the bullpen for four years and plopped that into a starting role and probably would’ve been fine," Bard told Muskat. Instead, he tried to increase his changeup usage, sink the ball more and change speeds on his fastball too often, and he feels that vast array of alterations was his downfall.

AL East Links: Anthopoulos, Betemit, Rays, Bard

It was on this day in 1914 that Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run.  Playing for the Providence Grays of the International League, Ruth went yard during a road game in Toronto, an occasion marked by a historical plaque at Hanlan's Point.  This was the only homer the Bambino would ever hit in the minors, as he spent the entire 1915 season with the Red Sox and never again visited the farm during his legendary career. 

Here are some notes from around the AL East…

  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos' job isn't in jeopardy, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm writes as part of a reader mailbag.  Anthopoulos "appears to have the full backing" of upper management and should continue to do so for at least the next couple of seasons, though obviously the Jays will be expected to contend at some point.  Earlier today, Anthopoulos discussed a number of topics in an interview on Sportsnet 590 radio.
  • Also from Chisholm, he predicts that if the Blue Jays don't extend a qualifying offer to Josh Johnson and he hits the open market, Johnson will likely sign a one-year contract with an NL team to try and re-establish his value for the 2015 free agent market.
  • Wilson Betemit's time with the Orioles is probably coming to an end, as Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun writes that the O's "likely won't pick up" the $3.2MM option on his contract for 2014.  Betemit has missed almost all of the season recovering from March knee surgery and the team already seems to have moved on, as Betemit has only nine plate appearances over five games since returning from the DL.
  • St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster criticized MLB in a memo updating his city council about the Rays' stadium issue, Mark Puente of the Tampa Bay Times reports.  Also in the piece, Puente notes that the Rays' ongoing search for a new ballpark could be an issue for Foster in November's mayoral election.
  • Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer's history with Daniel Bard made it no surprise that the Cubs would acquire the struggling right-hander on a waiver claim from the Red Sox, manager John Farrell said.  Farrell told reporters, including MLB.com's Jason Mastrodonato, that his team didn't have the time or roster space to nurture Bard back to form but he thinks Bard can do it.  "I guess the most important thing is that we wish him well. We hope he gets back on track. There's still a good pitcher in there once he gets back on track," Farrell said.
  • From earlier today around the AL East, the Astros claimed Eric Thames off waivers from the Orioles, the Nationals claimed Mauro Gomez off waivers from the Blue Jays and the Red Sox aren't sure if they'll be willing to re-sign Jacoby Ellsbury if it will cost much beyond $100MM.

Cubs Claim Daniel Bard, Designate Cole Gillespie

The Cubs announced that they have claimed Daniel Bard off waivers from the Red Sox.  To make room for the reliever, outfielder Cole Gillespie has been designated for assignment.

The former top-100 prospect was designated for assignment on Sunday.  Bard, 28, emerged as a dominant late-inning reliever in 2010, but didn't respond well when the team attempted to convert him back into a starter in 2012.  He's been beset by injuries this season and walked 27 batters in 15 1/3 minor league innings.  

Bard will be arbitration eligible for a third time this winter and still has an option remaining.  However, because he's only accumulated four days of Major League service time in 2013, he is now controllable through at least the 2016 season instead of the 2015 season, as previously projected.  If Bard can rediscover his 2009-11 form, he could be a rare example of a player who is eligible for arbitration five times.  In fact, if Bard accumulates fewer than 94 days of service time between now and the end of the 2014 season, the Cubs would gain another year of team control, giving them rights to Bard through the 2017 campaign.  In that scenario, Bard would be eligible for arbitration six times.  Baseball's collective bargaining agreement states that a player is eligible for arbitration so long as he has between three and six years of Major League service time (or qualifies as a Super Two) and is on a 40-man roster, so theoretically, a player could be eligible an infinite number of times.  Of course, all of this assumes that Bard will be tendered a contract for the 2014 season, which is certainly not a guarantee given his 2013 performance.

Gillespie, 29, was claimed off waivers from the Giants in July.  In 28 combined big league games this season, the outfielder hit just .203/.294/.237.  His Triple-A numbers have been much stronger as he posted a .277/.361/.455 line in 74 games this season.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


Twins Notes: Bard, Colabello, Morneau, Hamburger

Here’s a look at the latest on the Twins..

  • The Twins “are in the due diligence phase” on Daniel Bard, whose brother Luke is a Minnesota farmhand, 1500ESPN.com’s Darren Wolfson tweets. Injuries have plagued the 28-year-old’s 2013 campaign, as he’s pitched just one inning in the majors this year and has a 6.46 ERA in 15 1/3 minor league innings. Still, Bard has two years of arbitration remaining and posted a 3.33 ERA in 73 innings for Boston as recently as 2011, so he may be worth a claim.
  • Chris Colabello‘s opposite-field power could help him earn the Twins’ first base job following the departure of Justin Morneau, Berardino writes. Colabello, 29, has managed just a .193/.270/.360 line in 126 plate appearances for the Twins this year, but was hitting .352/.427/.639 for the club’s Triple-A affiliate before being called up in May.
  • The Twins have signed well-traveled right-hander Mark Hamburger to a minor league deal, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Hamburger, who was originally signed out of an amateur tryout camp by the Twins in 2007, managed to catch on long enough with the Rangers to pitch eight major league innings in 2011. However, the 26-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since. He’ll have to serve a 50-game suspension for testing positive a second time for a drug of abuse before he can play a game, Berardino notes.