Daniel Bard’s hopes of rejoining the Red Sox sometime in September have just been tarnished.
According to beat writer Alex Speier of WEEI.com, the right-hander was designated for assignment on Sunday morning to clear a 40-man roster spot for new outfielder Quintin Berry. The Red Sox also added catcher Ryan Lavarnway, right-handed reliever Rubby De La Rosa and third baseman Brandon Snyder in a flurry of September moves.
Bard recently resumed pitching in minor league games after missing three months with a severe abdominal strain and the early returns have not been good. Bard walked five of the six batters he faced Thursday afternoon in a Gulf Coast League game and issued four more walks Saturday night in a one-inning appearance with the Low-A Lowell Spinners.
Bard posted a 2.62 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 9.1 K/9 in 147 2/3 innings for the Red Sox in 2010 and 2011, but he struggled mightily in 2012 and now the 28-year-old from North Carolina has fallen off the baseball grid.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.
Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.
Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.
Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”