Daniel Bard’s story just keeps getting sadder.
The one-time elite setup man has been trying to make a comeback with the Rangers, pitching for their Single-A team, but his extreme control problems have led to 13 runs allowed while recording a grand total of two outs.
Bard walked or plunked 16 of the 18 total batters he faced, and today the Rangers decided they’d seen enough and released the 29-year-old right-hander and his 175.50 ERA.
Bard was a fantastic setup man for the Red Sox as recently as 2011, but he’s now been released by three teams in six months and has regressed to the point that putting him into a game, even versus Single-A hitters, seems almost cruel. What a shame.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.