The Angels have returned Rule 5 pick Luke Bard to the Twins, per a club announcement. The reliever had been designated for assignment recently.
Bard, 27, has long been viewed as a high-upside relief arm. But he had managed only a 5.40 ERA in his first 11 2/3 innings at the MLB level. While Bard carried 10.0 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9 in that span, he also coughed up four long balls.
As they compete for a postseason spot, the Halos will not be able to afford the luxury of carrying a Rule 5 player who will not be an immediate contributor. Evidently, the club did not feel he was going to a valuable enough performer to hold down a bullpen spot the rest of the way.
That’s good news for the Twins, who’ll be able to hold onto their former first-round pick without occupying a 40-man spot. They’ll send $50K to Los Angeles to reacquire his rights. It seems there’s still reason to hope that Bard can turn into a quality MLB asset. He’s certainly dedicated to his craft, as an excellent chat with David Laurila of Fangraphs from earlier this year demonstrates.