The Texas Rangers have become famous for taking low-risk, high-reward chances at pitchers in recent years. Guys like Colby Lewis, Neal Cotts, Brandon Webb and others have been signed to low-risk deals coming off injuries and had varied levels of success.
Now, they're going for it again as the Rangers signed 28-year-old relief pitcher Daniel Bard to a minor-league deal coming off thoracic outlet syndrome surgery just more than a month ago. The timetable for his possible return is not known, but Bard is under team control through 2017, so he has some time.
If Bard can get back to his old self, it could be a huge addition to the Rangers' bullpen, even if it's late this year or in 2015, much in the way last year's signing of former all-star closer Joakim Soria could pay huge dividends down the road.
"This is the time of year you take chances on guys," Rangers GM Jon Daniels told ESPN Dallas. "This is taking a chance on a guy with a pedigree of being one of the best at what he does."
Bard's best season came in 2010 with Boston, when he made 73 appearances and put up a 1.93 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 74 2/3 innings. Since then, he's dealt with injuries and only made two appearances this past year before being shelved for the rest of the year.