Reports: Daniel Bard signs minor league deal with Rangers

January 31, 2014 - 5:04 pm

According to multiple reports, former Red Sox right-hander Daniel Bard has reached agreement on a minor league deal with the Rangers. The 28-year-old endured a disastrous 2013 season, walking 27, uncorking 11 wild pitches and striking out nine in 15 1/3 minor league innings for different Red Sox affiliates. He also returned to the big leagues in late-April -- at a time when he'd enjoyed some success in Double-A Portland -- for a two-game stint in which he showed promise in his first outing but then threw eight of nine pitches for balls while walking both batters he faced in his second appearance, resulting in an immediate demotion back to Portland. The Sox designated him for assignment at the end of August in order to clear a roster spot for John McDonald, and though he was claimed off waivers by the Cubs, a horrific stint in winter ball -- he faced 13 batters, with 12 reaching base (9 by walks, 3 after getting hit by pitches) in the Puerto Rican Winter League -- led the Cubs to non-tender the right-hander, making him a free agent. The Rangers, in turn, saw an opportunity to acquire a once-elite right-hander with little risk. From 2009-11, Bard emerged as one of the elite right-handed setup men in the game, recording a 2.88 ERA with 9.7 strikeouts and 3.5 walks per nine innings in front of Jonathan Papelbon. However, the Sox elected to move him to the rotation in the 2012 season, where Bard saw his velocity drop precipitously and his command fall apart en route to a 6.22 ERA with 5.8 strikeouts and 6.5 walks per nine innings in the big leagues and a 7.03 ERA in Triple-A. News of Bard's agreement was first reported by Jon Heyman of (via twitter).