Cubs claim Daniel Bard off waivers from Red Sox

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After we reported that the Cubs were having preliminary internal discussions about acquiring Bard on Sunday, the team made the move to add him to their 40-man roster.

The Chicago Cubs have claimed right-hander Daniel Bard off waivers from the Boston Red Sox, according to an announcement from the team. Bard was designated for assignment by Boston on Sunday, and we reported at that time that the Cubs were having preliminary internal discussions about claiming him off waivers.

Bard, 28, has struggled with control all season at different levels of the Red Sox' system, and the team decided to finally cut ties with the former star setup man. In sixteen appearances in the low levels of the team's system, Bard was 0-1 with a 6.46 ERA and 27 walks in 15.1 innings of work, in what amounts to an astonishing 15.8 BB/9 ratio. Bard also made two appearances in the majors this season, surrendering one earned run and two walks in an inning of work.

Because Bard was one of the game's best relievers with the Theo Epstein-run Red Sox from 2009-2011, the Cubs decided that he would be a good candidate to be successful with a change of scenery. In his first three seasons in the league, Bard pitched to a 2.88 ERA with 213 strikeouts in 197 innings of work and appeared to be the heir-apparent to Red Sox' closer Jonathan Papelbon, who signed with the Phillies before the 2012 season. Bard requested to become a starter at the beginning of the disastrous 2012 Red Sox season, and the experiment resulted in a 5-6 record, 5.24 ERA and 37 walks in 55 innings before a demotion to Triple-A Pawtucket. Since, Bard has bounced around the Red Sox' system while trying to fix his control issues, but ultimately was unable to regain the form that made him successful in the first three years of his career.

While Bard will likely be shut down for this season, he will enter the Cubs' offseason program in hopes of having a chance to make the major league team in spring training. In a new city under familiar management in Epstein and Cubs' general manager Jed Hoyer, Bard will hope to return to being a dominant force at the back end of the club's bullpen.

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