The Chicago Cubs non-tendered reliever Daniel Bard Monday before the deadline. Bard was claimed off waivers in September but never threw a pitch for the organization. Bard was once heralded as the future of the Boston Red Sox organization, but moving from a reliever to a starter messed with his control and it does not look like he has been the same.
As a reliever Bard was not terrible. In 2011, he struck out 74 batters while only allowing 27 earned runs in 70 games. That was his last season as a reliever before he was tried out as a starter. As a starter Bard bombed in 10 starts recording a 6.22 ERA in 59.1 innings. His downfall was quick, and it seems that he never worked out as a starter and never will. The fact that the Cubs didn’t use him in the bullpen is astonishing.
It could be a very nice, under-the-radar pick-up by the Marlins if the team decided to try to strengthen the bullpen. There is no doubt that Bard could be obtained on a minor league deal and be used as an option over recently non-tendered Ryan Webb. Webb would have cost around $1.5 million, but Bard could cost chump change.
He will turn 29-years-old in June, and there is still time for him to get his control back. He is relatively young, and if he ever returns to what he once was, setting up Steve Cishek would not be such a bad idea.