Daniel Bard back with Red Sox despite 7.03 ERA at Triple-A

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Daniel Bard was back in the Red Sox’s clubhouse yesterday and will officially be recalled before today’s game, returning to the majors following a three-month demotion to Triple-A.

Bard was dumped from Boston’s rotation and sent to the minors in early June, taking with him a 5.24 ERA and more walks (37) than strikeouts (34) in 55 innings.

He was every bit as awful at Triple-A with a 7.03 ERA and 32/29 K/BB ratio in 32 innings, making 30 of his 31 appearances as a reliever. He also plunked 10 batters and uncorked nine wild pitches. In other words, he was a mess.

And yet now he’s back in the majors, although it’s hard to imagine manager Bobby Valentine relying on him for anything more than a mop-up bullpen role.

Astros officially announce the Michael Brantley signing

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The Astros officially announced their signing of outfielder Michael Brantley to a two-year, $32 million deal.

Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.

As previously reported, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Brantley.