Daniel Bard‘s career might be taking another turn for the worse.
According to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford, Bard will not be tendered a contract by the Cubs prior to Monday’s midnight deadline. If Bard isn’t offered a contract, he will become a free agent.
Teams have until midnight Monday to offer contracts to arbitration eligible players. The Red Sox have six such players — Andrew Bailey, Mike Carp, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales and Burke Badenhop — and it’s certainly possible that all six will be tendered contracts, thus keeping them from free agency. Bailey figures to earn the most of the six players through arbitration, with his expected price tag to be around $4.3 million based on service time and previous accomplishments.
Bard, who was claimed off waivers by the Cubs from the Red Sox in September, figures to earn in the $1.86 million range through arbitration based on his previous accomplishments and service time. His once promising career has gone south, though, and it doesn’t appear that the Cubs are willing to pay that much for a pitcher who is still a reclamation project and very much a roll of the dice.
Bard thrived in Boston as a hard-throwing reliever for a three-year stretch from 2009 through 2011. He posted a 1.93 ERA in 2010, a 0.96 WHIP in 2011 and was considered by many to be a closer-in-waiting. The Red Sox attempted to turn Bard back into a starter, though, and the result was a disaster of epic proportions.
Bard, who is still just 28 years old, didn’t appear in a game with the Cubs after being claimed off waivers. The right-hander has been attempting to work on his game in the Puerto Rican Winter League, but control issues continue to plague him.
According to Bradford, there is still a chance that Bard could sign a non-roster deal with the Cubs.