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chicago cubs logoToday, the Chicago Cubs claimed right-handed reliever Daniel Bard off of waivers from the Boston Red Sox. The 28-year-old was dominant from 2009 to 2011 before an ill-fated conversion to the rotation seems to have sapped him of his ability to locate the strike zone.

Earlier this week, I wrote about the possibility of the Cubs claiming Bard off of waivers, and there you can read more about his career arc. Here’s a snippet:

For all of the positive signals on Bard, unless the Cubs know something about his struggles this year that other teams don’t, we’re still talking about a guy who hasn’t been able to find the strike zone for two years. He’s young enough and talented enough to work it out, but paying him big league money on that hope is probably not the best use of the Cubs’ apparently limited funds right now.

That doesn’t mean the Cubs might not try to grab him now, though, and then pull off some roster maneuvering of their own.

Indeed, the Cubs could try to grab him now, and then themselves waive him at a more advantageous time this Winter (perhaps soon before the Rule 5 Draft, when teams often find it difficult to open up a spot to just hang onto a guy). If he clears, the Cubs could try and outright him off of the 40-man roster (subject to various rules about Bard’s right to elect free agency as a player with at least three years’ service time (though, at that point, he’d be a near lock to receive only a minor league contract anyway, so he might not elect free agency)). At the end of the process, if everything worked out all right and Bard decided to stick with the Cubs, they could have a nice lottery ticket who isn’t making big league bucks and isn’t taking up a 40-man roster spot.

We’ll see if that’s what the Cubs try to do with Bard, who definitely needs some work over the offseason. Now that he’s actually on the Cubs, rather than me merely speculating about him being on the Cubs, I’ll have more on Bard soon.

Bard’s 40-man spot comes courtesy of Cole Gillespie, who was just designated for assignment. He wasn’t likely to stick on the Cubs’ 40-man roster past September anyway, so the move is unsurprising.

  • Justin

    Why would you not DFA McDonald… I guess they are both interchangeable

  • Jay

    There’s a herd of players on that team you could DFA if the need arose….

  • hansman1982

    Wow, did not expect them to claim Bard.

  • jon

    I didn’t expect it to happen, but I wasn’t surprised when they claimed Bard.

  • Cheryl

    Good move. Hoped they’d do this.

  • Brian

    Hopefully Bosio can reign him in! Like this claim a lot. Tons of upside!

  • Cyranojoe

    Worth a shot.

  • Eric

    I like what Bosio has done with our pitchers, especially Wood. Hopefully this will pan out.

    That said, I’d love to see Deer given the 86 and Rowson too if they are the ones who have screwed up Castro.

  • TJ

    Compared to some we’ve signed and the resumes they bring, this is a trade up in my view. He actually has a track record of being not just successful but dominant and he hasn’t had/isn’t rehabilitating from TJS.

  • Robert Johnson

    I wish the Cubs had more good young players able to play at the major league level like the Marlins!

  • ssckelley

    What do the Cubs see in McDonald? Gillespie might not be any good but he still looks better than McDonald and is 5 years younger.

    • Sean T

      Maybe veteran presence?

      • ssckelley

        Ah yes, having McDonald around is like having another coach on the bench.

  • MoneyBoy

    I’m with you on that one ssc!!!

  • Sean T

    A good reclamation project. Bosio needs a new project a anyways. Hopefully we can sneak him through waivers or the rule 5 draft and stick him in AAA next year and hopefully he can work out his control issues bc the guy has great stuff

  • Austin8466

    Obviously he’s destined for the bullpen, wherever he ends up, correct?

  • Sean T

    In order to keep Bard next season would we have to offer him arbitration even if we DFA him? If so he could to be pricy full a middle relief reclamation project…

  • ssckelley

    Someone tweeted that they thought that Bard has an option left. Which means the Cubs do not have to keep him on the active roster next year.

  • Sean T

    I think Navarro is pricing himself out budget for a backup catcher next season. Never over pay for a back up catcher. Plus I bet he gets a starting opportunity the way he’s played this year. Good for him

    • Austin8466

      Qualifying offer candidate? If he knows he’s going to get a solid multi-year deal somewhere else to start, maybe he turns it down and we get an additional draft pick?

      • bbmoney

        not even close. He’d jump on ~$14M for a year and it’d be way too much.

      • Kyle

        That’s about three times what he’s worth.

      • MichiganGoat

        Would he even qualify for draft pick compensation? I thought those grades were over a two year period not a just one year or did the CBA change this?

        • Kyle

          They don’t do grades anymore. You either get a qualifying offer (in which case you earn a draft pick if you decline and sign elsewhere) or you don’t.

        • hansman1982

          Wow, where in the hell have you been?

          The new CBA changed it. Now teams have to offer a 1-year qualifying offer which will be somewhere around $14M.

          • MichiganGoat

            Yeah I just realized that I’ve been blinded by OMG RICKETTS ARE BROKE story lines.

            • Kyle

              One time I started to reference MacPhail not wanting to fire Hendry like two years after MacPhail had resigned.

        • Sean T

          Goat did your account get hacked or something?

          • MichiganGoat

            Yeah I accidentally jumped in the way back machine and thought I was in 2011 BN- d’oh

      • Sean T

        Absolutely not. bbmoney completely agree. the $14M qualifying offer would probably be equal amount to how much he should make in his whole career. There is no way he’d say no. I think Navarro is gone after this season unless the FO wants to overpay

    • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

      He is terrible defensively but would certainly fit in as a DH in the AL for a team who thinks he could be a second or third option as a catcher. Tampa would be a perfect fit for Navarro.

      • Sean T

        I’m not sure Navarro has the bat to command a DH role in a daily lineup. He’s good for a catcher but I think you could find someone better then him. At least i think so

  • Sweet Swinging 26

    Koyie Hill hasn’t lost that hitting stroke…batting a cool .167

  • mjhurdle

    Cardinals just sent a decent bullpen arm to Milwaukee for Axford.
    Axford and Bard are very similar reclamation projects in my opinion. Nice to see the Cubs get the 2 year younger version for nothing and the cardinals have to pay for theirs :)

    • mjhurdle

      just read that and realized my ‘just’ sounds like the Cardinals traded for Axford today. Not today, but last week.

  • Spoda17

    .. man, we really suck… Shark has been very disappointing… I’m losing faith in him.

  • Scotti

    Bard has a case of the yips but he’s been there before. He started his professional career with 78 walks in 75 IP his first year. Who knows? Rich Hill overcame the yips twice.

  • Senor Cub

    No more projects. Is there anyone that this FO won’t take from Boston. They moved on without this FO, it’s time this FO moves on from Boston ties!

  • jon

    Man that Murphy ball was crushed. The ranting and raving him getting playing time over Logan freak Watkins still cracks me up. Logan Watkins sucks.

    • cubsfanforever

      Really JON. They both suck. Even the notion you are debating Watkins and Murphy shows where the Cubs are… And what you know about baseball for crying out loud

  • cub2014

    We know Murphy isnt the future at 3rd dont we.
    It is september isnt it. We are on our way to 95
    losses arent we, so really why play him. He has
    been hot but so what.

    • jon

      Who would you rather play at 3rd?

    • willis

      In all fairness, Watkins isn’t going to amount to shit for the cubs either. May as well play a guy who can actually hit.

      • ssckelley

        Yes, and we know this because Watkins is already 23 years old and is only .345 OPS in 25 plate appearances.

        Friggin waive him already!

        • jon

          His minor league numbers are pretty under-whelming as well, outside of 2012. He’s not really a prospect, maybe a bench guy, but I don’t get Cubs fans infatuation with him.

          • ssckelley

            He improved at every level until this year. His OPS in AA was .805, I would take that all day at 2nd base.

          • cub2014

            i am not infatuated in the least with watkins
            i just dont get the reasoning for bringing him
            up and let him sit behind murphy. if you want to
            use him as a future utility guy it would be nice
            to see him in some of those situations now to
            see what he has got at this level

            • ssckelley

              Leave Murphy in at 3rd, play Watkins instead of Barney. Like I said before it is possible Murphy could find a roll on next years team.

          • Kenster

            Why sit Watkins atleast he can still prove himself. Barney on the other hand… People complain about Watkins not amounting to anything with the bat but then why the hell is Barney still gettin trotted out there day after day??? It’s September just let the kid play and maybe he will surprise.

        • willis

          His glove is ok but his bat won’t play long term at the major league level IMO. Even with last year’s success I’ve felt that way.

      • cubsfanforever

        That wasn’t a brilliant comment at all.

    • ssckelley

      I think guys like Murphy are auditioning for bench roles on next years team. I can see some value having a guy like Murphy who can play multiple positions and has some pop off the bench.

  • jon

    Pretty amazing what Castro can do when just “ignoring” coaches. Rowden and Deer better be “axed” this off-season.

  • cub2014

    Probably true on watkins but he was our offensive
    player of the year last year. We know he isnt 31 and
    a career .220 hitter in the bigs.
    Our minors have come along way in a year

  • jon

    If I’m Theo, first order of business this offseason is getting Shark to agree to “MY” terms and if not, I try to swing him for someone like Bradley, Tailon, or Synderguard.

  • cubsfanforever

    Time for me to depart today. Too many dumb asses on here debating Murphy and Watkins.
    REALLY people they both are never going to amount to anything for a winning ball club. Is this what the chat room has come to. Holy crap

    • ssckelley

      Ok wise guy, give us something better to debate about. It is friggin September, the Cubs have been out of the playoff race since April, and our “ace” pitcher just got rocked by the 2nd worst team in baseball. What else could be so important to debate about that would not irritate the likes of you?

  • cub2014

    hit the road dumb ass!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jon

    Cubs win, I really wish they would stop blowing their draft position.

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