Bard happy to be back with Boston


Bard happy to be back with Boston

OAKLAND -- Six Red Sox relievers came out of the bullpen and all but one -- Junichi Tazawa -- gave up at least one run in the debacle that was the 20-2 humiliation to the Oakland A's Friday night.

But there was some small solace for another. Daniel Bard, who allowed a run on two hits in the sixth inning, made his return to the big leagues after a nearly three-month demotion to the minor leagues.

"The adrenaline was there,'' said Bard. "It's not the eighth inning with a one-run lead, but it's a lot bigger stage than the one I've pitched on the last couple of months. It was fun. I felt comfortable out there.

"I wasn't quite as sharp as I would have liked to be, but I haven't pitched in four days, so, it was good to get back out there.''

Bard retired Josh Donaldson, the first major league hitter he'd faced since June 3, on an infield pop-up before allowing a solo homer to former teammate George Kottaras.

After a single to Cliff Pennington, he retired Coco Crisp, another former teammate, on a swinging bunt and got Stephen Drew to line out to first for the third out.

"Anytime you go three or four days (without throwing) as a reliever, you want to get back in there, '' said Bard, ''no matter where you're playing. So I was glad I was able to get my feet wet again today.''

Bard said he had some butterflies "but not as much as I expected. I think it's something about going through the same routine, with the same people, warming up throwing to (the same bullpen catcher) and having (bullpen coach Gary) Tuck standing next to me, it's a familiar place for me. So I think that kind of helped me relax a little. I wasn't as sharp as I would have liked to be, but it was really good to be out there.''

Evaluating his stuff, Bard said he was far from perfect. His velocity was down, too, as his fastball topped out at 92 mph.

"But it's almost September,'' he said. "I feel like I worked really hard just to get back here. Everything's not perfect. It's not where I want it. But I've definitely made some big steps in the right direction. I'll just try to continue that for the next month.

"I know I've got to prove some things to some people and I'm ready to do that.''

Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years


Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

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