Oct 22, 2009, 10:55 AM EDT
Every few days you see another article like this about Daniel Bard in the Boston media:
There’s little doubt that with his potential, Bard could conceivably be a big-league closer right away. He has an overpowering fastball that regularly hits 98 or 99 on the gun, and his fast-developing slider has become a solid secondary pitch. With that arsenal alone, he could be a lights-out guy in the ninth inning . . . Bard deserves a shot at the big time. He’s a 45-save season waiting to happen.
Like the others I’ve seen, this article plays it passive and doesn’t explicitly demand that the Sox trade Jonathan Papelbon. But it’s apparent that the “oh, whatever shall we do with the bullpen logjam occasioned by the presence of the increasingly expensive and suddenly unreliable Papelbon” talk is really lobbying for just that very thing.
Should Boston trade Papelbon? I think the answer to that question lies with Billy Wagner. Bard could crash and burn in his first taste of the closer’s role, and it would be awfully nice to have someone else around to help ease the transition. If Wagner is serious about wanting to retire, convince him to hang around one last year and play John Wetteland to Bard’s Mariano Rivera. If he demands multiple years, give him two — assuming they’re not outrageous — and transition Bard from setup guy to closer between next year and mid-2011.
The key here is that by trading Papelbon, you have his almost certain-to-be-disrupting presence out of the way as you anoint Bard the future closer. And you get something for him in return. Seems worth exploring to me.
- Las Vegas police investigating Jose Canseco as a suspect in sexual assault case 49
- Rafael Soriano took back all that stuff he said about Bryce Harper 12
- Don Mattingly may be uttering his last words as Dodgers manager 47
- Jaime Garcia needs shoulder surgery 8
- Rafael Soriano calls out Bryce Harper for the game-tying triple last night 60
- MLB is putting players in camouflage uniforms on Memorial Day. Which is kinda weird. (117)
- Barry Bonds: Miguel Cabrera is the best … but not as good as me (110)
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights (81)
- Albert Pujols doesn’t matter anymore (74)
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights (70)
- Live Extra: Watch Penguins-Senators, Game 4
- LIVE: Heat host Pacers in Game 1 of East finals
- Tiger calls Sergio's comments inappropriate, hurtful
- Bears great Urlacher announces retirement
- PBT: Rugged Pacers hope to slow high-flying Heat
- Posnanski on Golf: Sergio shows disdain for Tiger
- OlyTalk: Coach K will lead Team USA in Rio Games