30-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2015 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Daniel Bard in 2015. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Daniel Bard Contract Information:
Signed a minor league contract with the Cubs in January of 2015.
Bard was reassigned to minor league camp Thursday, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports.
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Daniel Bard Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Daniel Bard: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Daniel Bard.
Bard spent less than a week with the Red Sox last April, but otherwise battled injuries and ineffectiveness in the minors for the remainder of the season. He walked 27 in 15.1 innings in the minors before the Red Sox had seen enough. The Cubs scooped him up in September in the hopes of taking a chance on a reliever who put together an outstanding run a few years ago, but his control looks like it's gone. He was non-tendered by the team in December.
We never really got a clear answer for what caused Bard's train to come off its tracks. The conversion from reliever to starter is the inciting incident that led to the mess his 2012 season became, but those conversions happen all the time. Heck, the Red Sox did it in-season with Franklin Morales. What about Bard's transition, which started in the offseason with plenty of time to prepare, caused him to become the "Wild Thing?" As bad as he was in Boston, Bard was even worse following his demotion to Triple-A Pawtucket. In 32 innings with the PawSox, Bard walked 29 batters and hit another 10. There is much outside speculation that having John Farrell back in the organization will help all the pitchers who seem to have lost their way, including Bard. Getting Bard back to being the effective setup reliever he was prior to 2012 is one of the team's many offseason priorities.
Bard had several individual meltdowns during the season, including a couple of high-profile ones during Boston's dramatic September collapse, leading to a worrisome 3.33 ERA. He maintained his strikeout and hold numbers, but questions started to creep in about his ability to be a full-time closer -- he has 12 blown saves in the past two seasons, which takes on added importance after Boston lost closer Jonathan Papelbon to Philadelphia in the free-agent market. While he's known mostly for his high-90s fastball, Bard can throw enough pitches to be a starter. He entered professional baseball as a starter, before the organization moved him to the bullpen. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington acquired Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon to handle the late innings, and the plan is to deploy Bard as a starter heading into spring training.
Close observers know all about Bard by now. He throws wall-to-wall heat and misses bats as one of the league's premier setup men. His 32 holds led the American League and ranked third in MLB, behind a couple of relievers from San Diego, who pitched at an airport. Bard was a dominant pitcher in 2010, getting both righties and lefties out while limiting batters to a .159 average with runners on. As Jonathan Papelbon enters the final year of his contract, Bard has no more than a year to wait to become Boston's closer. That could happen sooner if the Red Sox decide to trade Papelbon, who has made it known for a long time he's looking to make a splash as a free agent.
Bard started the 2009 season at Triple-A Pawtucket, then emerged as Boston's leading option as a setup guy to closer Jonathan Papelbon. He struck out 63 batters in 49.1 innings, using a blistering fastball, augmented by a slider he's developed along the way. His walk rate ticked up with the move up to the bigs, but the Red Sox have the utmost confidence in him. He'll open the 2010 season as he finished last year as Boston's set up man. With Papelbon nearing free agency and making noise about getting big bucks, the Red Sox could be grooming Bard for the closer's role in 2012, when Papelbon becomes a free agent.
Bard was extremely successful in his first full season out of the bullpen, making the leap from Low-A Greenville to Double-A Portland. Bard struck out 107 batters in 77.2 innings and limited batters to a .173 batting average. The organization worked on his mechanics and had him work with sports psychologist and former pitcher Bob Tewksbury on the mental aspects to overcome a disastrous 2007 season. He'll work on his secondary pitches this season while with Portland, and could eventually return to being a starter.