Sox ink right-hander Bard to one-year contract

By Ian Browne / | 01/21/12 7:51 PM EST

BOSTON -- The Red Sox avoided an arbitration hearing with righty Daniel Bard, signing him to a $1.6125 million deal on Saturday.
The agreement comes four days after the sides exchanged arbitration figures. Bard's representatives had asked for $1.825 million while the Sox submitted a $1.4 million figure.
Bard will attempt to make the transition from setup man to starting pitcher during Spring Training. The Red Sox have said there's still a chance Bard could return to the bullpen, but he clearly has a chance to pin down a rotation spot during camp.

The hard-throwing righty pitched in 70 games for the Red Sox last year, going 2-9 with a 3.33 ERA. He struck out 74 over 73 innings. Bard has pitched in 192 games for the Sox over the last three seasons, posting a 2.88 ERA and striking out 9.7 batters per nine innings.
With Bard's contract now complete, the Red Sox are still negotiating with three arbitration-eligible players in David Ortiz, Andrew Bailey and Alfredo Aceves.