Daniel Bard signed a minor-league contract with the Rangers after being let go by the Red Sox and Cubs last season, and the once-dominant reliever made his season debut yesterday at Single-A.
It did not go well. Bard faced four batters, plunking three of them and walking the other.
Bard had a combined 2.88 ERA with 213 strikeouts in 197 innings through his first three seasons with the Red Sox, including an excellent year as recently as 2011, but now he’s 29 years old and completely lost thanks to extreme control problems.
Last season in the minors he walked 27 batters and uncorked 11 wild pitches in 15 innings and things seem to be getting even worse. How sad.
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?”