Cubs sign Daniel Bard, invite him to Spring Training

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With pitchers and catchers returning to camp for the Chicago Cubs just a month from today, the team added another arm that could find its way in the bullpen on the Opening Day roster – but that may be a long-shot.

According to Mike Perchick on Twitter, the Cubs and former Boston Red Sox’ reliever Daniel Bard have agreed on a minor league deal that includes an invitation to spring training. Bard, 29, made his last big league appearance as a member of the Red Sox back in 2013.

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He appeared in only two games with the team whom would go onto winning the World Series, working only one inning with two walks and a strikeout. On Sept. 1, Bard was designated for assignment by Boston and would find himself being picked up by the Cubs just three days later.

His stint with the team would only last a couple of months as he would be non-tendered, making him a free agent. Bard wouldn’t be a free agent for long as the Texas Rangers would roll the dice on the struggling righty but it would eventually backfire.

While appearing in only four games with their Single-A Hickory affiliate, Bard posted a whopping 175.50 ERA, allowing 13 runs, nine walks, and seven hit batsmen.

The former ‘Minor League Pitcher of the Year’ for the Red Sox organization owns a career 3.67 ERA, 252/121 K/BB ratio with five saves, 15 blown saves and 79 holds through 257 1/3 innings in five big league seasons.

Cubs’ president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer are hoping to see the 2010 Daniel Bard where he posted a career best 1.93 ERA and 76 strikeouts after becoming Boston’s primary setup man.

If he does end up making the big league roster in 2015, and again, that could be a long-shot, Bard could end up working early innings if a starter is pulled after two-three innings. He’ll more than likely find himself with the Double-A affiliate if he’s unable to crack opening day as long as Epstein wants to hang onto him just in case of an emergency.

Next: Cubs, Arrieta Settle Arbitration Case

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