Former Red Sox pitching prospect Daniel Bard has had a rough go of it with the Hickory Crawdads, the Single-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The 28-year-old right-hander allowed four runs without recording an out in Sunday’s appearance against the Lakewood Blueclaws, pushing his ERA up to 175.50 in two-thirds of an inning.
Perhaps more impressively, Bard has allowed 13 runs all without allowing a hit. Against the Blueclaws, Bard walked two and hit two batters, pushing his total over four appearances up to nine and seven, respectively.
The control issues are nothing new for Bard. In 59 1/3 innings at the big league level for the Red Sox in 2012, Bard walked 43 batters. He walked two batters in an inning of work in the big leagues last season, and 27 in 15 1/3 innings in the minors. Bard suffered from a strained abdomen, which knocked him out for more than three months last season, and underwent thoracic outlet surgery this past January.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.