The Red Sox announced this morning that they have placed the 30-year old catcher on unconditional release waivers, indicating that George Kottaras -- a 25-year-old switch-hitter with power who is out of minor league options -- will make the Opening Day roster, though there remains the possibility the Sox could bring in another backstop via trade.Michael Silverman, Herald:
Bard had been on an unguaranteed contract worth $1.6 million. By cutting him before 2 p.m. today, the Red Sox are responsible for only 30 days of Bard’s contract. That is approximately 1/6 of his salary or $260,000. Bard is now an unrestricted free agent.Kottaras's minor league splits:
AB AVG OBP SLGThe higher slugging against RHP is nice to see. Bard's career slugging against RH: .376. Varitek slugged .323 against RHP last season. Kottaras makes more sense as a platoon for Varitek. It could be that Bard was nothing more than Tek insurance.
v LH 425 .264 .353 .409
v RH 1081 .261 .359 .449
With Kottaras out of options, the choice this spring was lose either Kottaras or Bard. Kottaras can hit from both sides, he's five years younger, he has caught a knuckler, and he's cheaper (though Bard's price tag was small).