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Cubs claim Daniel Bard off waivers from Red Sox

Sep 4, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT

Daniel Bard Getty Getty Images

When the Red Sox designated Daniel Bard for assignment it seemed likely that a non-contending team with some 40-man roster space to spare would take a flier on the once-dominant reliever and sure enough the Cubs claimed him off waivers.

There’s no overstating how lost Bard has been for the past two seasons and this year he made just one appearance for the Red Sox while also walking 27 batters in 15 innings in the minors. On the other hand, he’s still just 28 years old and was an excellent setup man as recently as 2011, so the Cubs don’t have much to lose by picking him up for nothing and seeing if there’s any sign of a turnaround.

And of course it didn’t hurt that Cubs president Theo Epstein is plenty familiar with the good version of Bard from their time in Boston.

  1. Old Gator - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Epstein sounds a bit soggy with nostalgia, you know?

    • stex52 - Sep 4, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      Oh hell, that’s an occupational hazard with these GM’s. They just know they are smarter than everyone else and none of their choices could have been wrong. Between Ed Wade and Jeff Luhnow over the last few years we have seen a veritable parade of Phillies and Cards castoffs.

      But you know what people will say. Once they get Bard out of that very special aura that exudes from the Boston/New York axis he will surely thrive again.

      • neoshweaty - Sep 4, 2013 at 2:40 PM

        What? What risk is involved with seeing if there is anything left in the tank? Worst thing that happens is that he is truly done and they move on for little money. Best thing that happens is that they get him back to his 2011 form and have a great bullpen arm.

  2. kelshannon19 - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Oh how the Astros screwed this one up. I guess they’d prefer Lucas Harrell, Erik Bedard, and Phillip Humber than take their chances on Bard…….

    • Caught Looking - Sep 4, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      Perhaps the Astros didn’t want to pay him the $275K due on the remainder of his $1.86 million contract for this season.

      Plus, as the claiming team, the Cubs will now need to decide whether to tender him a contract by December 2nd and then either negotiate a new contract or go to arbitration since he has more than three years of MLB service time.

      • rollinghighwayblues - Sep 4, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        But, but, but, the Astros are the most profitable team in the league, didn’t you hear?! $275K is chump change when you’re raking in profits such as them and putting minimal talent on the field.

        /s

  3. aceshigh11 - Sep 4, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    He’ll fit in well with the culture of winning fostered over there.

  4. tfbuckfutter - Sep 4, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    It will be tough to gauge if he has returned to form or not in Chicago…. you know, because he won’t have anything to set up.

    • jcmeyer10 - Sep 4, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      Ultimate low leverage situation.

      • tfbuckfutter - Sep 4, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        I don’t know about that.

        I would say as far as pressure goes, the Cubs are at least on par with the Gulf Coast Rookie League.

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 4, 2013 at 7:01 PM

      Zing!

  5. chip56 - Sep 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    I would mock Boston for screwing up Bard so badly, but then they would come back with Hughes and Joba and I would be sad.

  6. jcmeyer10 - Sep 4, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Theo will subsequently reenact the scene from Good Will Hunting where he will cradle Daniel Bard and keep repeating, “it’s not your fault” until he has his head on straight.

  7. coloradogolfcoupons - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    The history of pitchers losing the strike zone as bad as this, with 27 walks in 15 innings…Steve Blass, Rick Ankiel, to name a couple…….and coming back to prominence is just about zero. Although it is a low risk move, and one that is well worth taking considering Bard’s arm and prior success, I doubt seriously if we ever see him in the bigs again. Nothing to lose here, but chances are he is done for good.

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