Daniel Bard hasn't pitched in the MLB since 2013.
But that isn't going to stop the former Boston Red Sox reliever from attempting an MLB comeback in 2020.
According to Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, the 34-year-old Bard will try to return to the MLB in the near future. He last pitched in the minors during the 2017 season.
Apologies if somebody else had this and I missed it, but heard from some Red Sox people that Daniel Bard is trying at make a comeback + thew for scouts.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) February 17, 2020
Bard, 34, last pitched in the majors in '13 and in the minors in '17. He had been working for the D'backs mental skills staff
Bard was a first-round pick by the Red Sox in the 2006 MLB Draft and at one point, it appeared that he would be the heir apparent to Jonathan Papelbon as the team's closer.
In his first two seasons with the Red Sox (2009-2010), Bard was a terrific relief option for the squad. He made 122 appearances and logged a 2.61 ERA in 124 innings pitched with 139 strikeouts. And that continued for most of the 2011 season, as Bard set a Red Sox record at one point with 25 consecutive scoreless appearances.
However, after that, Bard began to fall apart. It began in September of '11. During the final month of the season, he went 0-4 and had a ridiculous 10.64 ERA amid a Red Sox collapse that led to the departure of Terry Francona as Red Sox manager.
In 2012, Bobby Valentine attempted to convert Bard into a starting pitcher. The results were disastrous. Bard went 5-6 but had a 6.22 ERA and averaged 6.5 walks per nine innings as he struggled to command his pitches.
Following the 2012 season, Bard made just two appearances for the Red Sox in 2013. He spent most of his time with the Pawtucket Red Sox before being designated for assignment in September. After that, he bounced around the league and was seen mostly as a reclamation project. But he could never make any headway on his many minor-league stints.
Bard retired in 2017 and has been working for the Arizona Diamondbacks since then.
It will be interesting to see if any team takes a chance on Bard. After all, he was able to clock 102 on the radar gun at times during his career and had he not lost his command, he may have had a chance to re-emerge as an effective reliever.
But after being away from the majors for seven years and struggling in the minors, it's fair to wonder if Bard can truly figure things out and make a team consider signing him.