Rather than cash in right-hander Daniel Bard as a trade chip, the last place Colorado Rockies have signed their closer to a contract extension. The Rockies have signed Bard to a two-year deal worth approximately $19 million, reports MLB.com. Bard was scheduled to become a free agent after the season.
Colorado sits in last place in the NL West at 45-56 and the 37-year-old Bard seemed like a prime candidate to move prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline. He was a rental and he’s having a very good season, and his age makes it unlikely he will be part of the next contending Rockies team. Rather than trade him for prospects, the Rockies extended him.
Bard, the 2020 NL Comeback Player of the Year, owns a 1.91 ERA with strong strikeout (27.6 percent of batters faced) and ground ball (53.8 percent of balls in play) rates this year. His high-velocity sinker/slider combination is perfectly suited for high leverage work, and Bard would have been an upgrade to any contender’s bullpen.
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The Rockies signed Bard three years ago after he was out of baseball, and spent several years working as a player mentor with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He battled the yips earlier in his career with the Boston Red Sox and his return these last few seasons has been truly remarkable. Bard is one of the game’s top feel-good stories.
Bard was Colorado’s top trade chip and the New York Post reports they intend to keep starting pitchers Kyle Freeland, Germán Márquez, and Antonio Senzatela. There hasn’t been much interest in All-Star first baseman CJ Cron.