From the Wire … Cubs Claim Daniel Bard Off Waivers from Boston, DFA Cole Gillespie

The Cubs made another roster move just prior to Wednesday’s finale with Miami and claimed RHP Daniel Bard off waivers from the Red Sox. To make room on the 40-man roster, Cole Gillespie was designated for assignment. Gillespie was in Wednesday’s starting lineup.

The Cubs’ front office is obviously very familiar with Daniel Bard. Theo Epstein and Jason McLeod selected Bard in the first round of the 2006 draft. The 28-year old right hander was designated for assignment by Boston on Monday.

The Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 4o players with these two moves and the active roster was reduced to 31 players.

Daniel Bard was very, very good as the primary set-up man to Jonathan Papelbon, but has not been the same since the Red Sox tried to make him a starter last year. Bard has not been able to throw strikes and in 16 games this season in three stops in the Sox’s system, Bard walked 27 batters with only nine strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings.


As a reliever, even with his struggles over the past two seasons, Bard is 6-13 in 201 games with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. In 203 innings, Bard struck out 218 batters, walked 85 and surrendered only 141 hits.

If the Cubs can get him back on track, Daniel Bard could be a very good pick-up for a bullpen that is in need of a major overhaul. Bard has one minor league option year remaining so the Cubs have time, and options, with Bard.

Over the past two days, the Cubs have added LHP Zac Rosscup, RHP Chang-Yong Lim and RHP Daniel Bard to the 40-man roster. While the Cubs added one former first round pick of the Red Sox to the mix on Wednesday, they let another one go in Michael Bowden.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer appear to be focused on auditioning relievers this September.

Daniel Bard’s Page on Baseball-Reference

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  • CubbyDenCritic

    Lets recap our 2014 Spring Training Pitching Roster…(*) means makes the 2014 team
    *Arietta
    Baker……….if he re-signs……doubt it.
    *Bard
    *Cabrera
    Chapman
    Coleman
    Dolis
    Fujikawa…….”See Baker 2013 season”
    Gregg………..might return.
    *Grimm
    Guerrier……..maybe…maybe not
    Hendricks……look for a May call up
    *E. Jackson
    Lim
    McNutt……….yes, he is still with us
    *Parker
    Putman
    Ramirez
    Raley
    *Rusin
    Rondon……..Tenn bound
    *Rosscup
    *Russell
    *Samaradzija…….Best trade chip for Prospects
    *Strop
    *Villaunueva
    Vizcaino
    *Wood
    No #1 or #2 pitcher on this chart……bullpen is improving……look for several free agent signings….if Josh Johnson is there, Theo should go after him.

    • TheWrongGuy

      I for one hope the CUBS DON’T sign a big name free-agent this off-season like Josh Johnson. I would rather they look to trade for a potential #1 or #2 pitcher. Look at the potential pitchers for MLB starting staff and AAA starting staff.

      *Arietta
      Baker……….if he re-signs……doubt it.
      *Cabrera
      *Grimm
      Hendricks……look for a May call up
      *E. Jackson
      Ramirez
      Raley
      Rusin
      *Samaradzija…….Best trade chip for Prospects
      *Villaunueva
      *Wood

      That’s 12 starting pitchers. for 10 spots. And yes I know Villanueva can also pitch from the pen as well as others can. BUT is very nice to have these pitchers and possibly make a nice trade this off-season vice paying out mega millions on a free agent like EJAX or J. Johnson just because they have had success at the big league level. The success they have had hasn’t been great or super it been like a roller coaster, same as J. Samardzjia. Paying for free agents in today’s game is too much risk. Lost assets and lost money. Though this is ALL my opinion.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I have to agree with you. FA’s are too over priced as we’ve learned with EJax. Put together a package and get a stud. We’ve now got some depth in the system where we could get it done. If Villanueva and Bryant continue as they have and Olt gets turned around at least one of them will have to go. Just not enough spots on the diamond. I’d like to see them work Villanueva at 2nd. The guy can play defense and get extra base hits.

        • CubbyDenCritic

          Alcantara taking over 2nd….leave Villanueva at 3rd…..Bryant is OF…….Olt is 3rd in 2014.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I dis-agree here I say Baez to 2nd. But everything else I agree.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Has Baez play 2nd in the minors yet?

          • TheWrongGuy

            No but the FO was talking about the fact he is a great athlete that can play all over. And they want to start making room for him some where. I say the best spot is to take Barney’s spot at second. MY OPINION!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I forgot Alcantra, you are right. I see Villanueva sticking around. If Olt can get his stroke back I think he is the most likely to go. I have absokuteky zero basis for this other than jut my gut! Villanueva strikes me as a guy that fits what we’re looming for.

        • TheWrongGuy

          Our best money to spend this off-season is to re-sign Navarro. That’s a super need sign in my opinion.

          • triple

            Agree so much on this. I’d even go so far as to say sign him to a 3 year contract and tell him he has the opportunity to be the starter and I bet he’d win the job!

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I think Vizcaino needs a * by his name. I also see Baker back next year. Depending on how he looks in the coming weeks when he gets to Wrigley.

      I’ll go ahead and say “if,” he gets to Wrigley for you Critic, but I do believe we will see him before the year is done.

      Vizcaino is a number 1 if he returns to form, which given the success of TJ surgery today there is no reason to think he won’t. Shark and Arrietta both have the potential as well but they will really need to get consistent working with Bosio in the offseason. I think Arietta has a better shot honestly. Right now he’s going 1/3 in great starts, and I believe he can at least get to 2 of 3 by next year. Probably tops out as a #2 on a contending team if he can be consistent though.

      I like Shark as a #3. Solid #3 on a contender. I still don’t know if he’ll make it to his potential in Chicago. He really needs to go out west where he isn’t best known as a Notre Dame receiver.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Vizcaino needs more innings…..by late May he should be ready.

        • TheWrongGuy

          It depends on whether he plays winter ball or not. And if he’s streched out enough. And of course he WILL be on an innings limit coming off TJ surgery.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            He probably won’t break camp come to think of it. Correct me if I’m wrong but in winter ball our coaches aren’t the coaches of the teams? It’s a collection o players from many teams? I would think with a guy off TJ surgery the FO wouldn’t let any decisions on him be made by anyone but our own coaches.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Correct not our coaches. BUT our coaches/FO do send an innings limit and such to the team(s), of what they want and would like for our players.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            That’s what I thouhht but I think they would still want to monitor him situationally. First sign of pushing too hard you pull him, where maybe a manager not as invested in him long-term wants to have him work out of a jam to save his bullpen, etc.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Thats what our scouts are for.
            =)

          • CubbyDenCritic

            winter ball players do not pitch that much…..you want a guy like Vizcaino to pitch in your farm system, where he is more under your control…..and watch his TJ for set backs……..he will be there……but he can turn into a Bard type of pitcher.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    I’d like to give some credit to the front office but this move is such a no-brainer, especially considering the Boston ties, that I just can’t do it!

    He could be a great reliever for us. Absolutely no business closing but we’ve got Strop to try in that role. If we can get Bard turned around and Strop doesn’t make it as a closer but continues in his current role and level of play, we’d have two really tough relievers. Still need a closer but great guys for 7th and 8th inning.

    • Dorasaga

      Pedro at best: 95 mph, walks a ton, durable.

      Bard at best: 97 mph, walks his fair share, injured.

      Hard to say who’s better, but a closer-by-committee looks more likely ahead next season…

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Here’s a topic for discussion. If we had made the deal that included Olt earlier do we still draft Bryant over the OU stud? With Villanueva’s success, if we had Olt too I think we would have signed the pitcher.

    • TheWrongGuy

      No Theo McHoyer have already said in a statement that the best players to draft at or near the top the draft are position players, because position players have the most success being drafted in those slots.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Yeah, but given or needs and having two promising players at 3rd base I can’t see them drafting another. For this year in this draft wiyh this pitcer I could have seen them break the mold. Two pitchers that look like they could have ace potential within a couple years. That’s rare.

        • TheWrongGuy

          I believe they were set to pick Appel leading into the draft. But Houston was so tight lipped about who they were going to pick and with Gray’s drug usage they went with Bryant.

    • Eugene Debs

      The OU “stud” had PED concerns.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        He absolutely did. But they were relatively minor. I don’t believe they scared anyone off an he has been very good so far in the Rockies system. Outpitching Appel as of this writing.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    All I can say is that Theo will not rush Vizcaino …..or Ramirez…or any future star pitcher with past arm problems…….their time will come……….let them build up their innings in the minors.

    • TheWrongGuy

      I agree =)

  • CubbyDenCritic

    2016 Cubs pitching staff…….
    Vizcaino
    P. Johnson
    Edwards
    Blackburn
    Cabrera
    Arietta
    Strop
    Rosscup
    Grimm
    Wood
    Hendricks
    Rusin
    Ramirez

    • TheWrongGuy

      =)

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Not even considering F/A or trades….this pitching corps will get stronger.

        • TheWrongGuy

          I agree! P. Johnson has great stuff. He’s learning to be more of a pitcher it seems and less of a thrower.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Bard!

        • CubbyDenCritic

          maybe…what about the pitching prospects in a Samardzija trade?

          • TheWrongGuy

            Arizona is interested in him A LOT. A. Bradley sounds really nice. =)

          • CubbyDenCritic

            would be great, but don’t count on it…..Arizona Holmberg, Chafin & Stites might be on Theo’s radar.

          • TheWrongGuy

            It was reported earlier this year that Arizona asked about the Shark and Theo asked for Skaggs AND A. Bradley.