The Mets have signed reliever Daniel Bard to a minor-league contract. A first-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2006 out of the University of North Carolina, Bard was a well-hyped prospect who pitched largely out of the Red Sox bullpen from 2009-2013.
Bard had three largely successful seasons of out the Sox bullpen from 2009-2011, in which he averaged over 9.0 K/9 and never had an ERA+ lower than 128—highlighted by a 227 ERA+ in 2010. However, he struggled down the stretch in 2011. An effort to convert him to a starter failed badly in 2012. In 17 appearances (10 starts), Bard posted a 6.22 ERA and 6.36 FIP as his command began to fail, averaging 6.5 BB/9.
After a brief and unsuccessful return to the bullpen in 2013, Bard was released by the Red Sox. He has since bounced around the minors, spending time in the Cubs, Rangers, Pirates, and Cardinals organizations. Unable to harness the ability once flashed, Bard has been plagued by wildness in his minor league stints since, bouncing as far down as low-level A ball, and has not averaged less than 9 BB/9 at any stop since 2012. It would be quite a story if this once-notable bullpen arm ever found his way back to a major league mound.