Bard open to starting or relieving

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told NESN on Monday from the winter meetings in Dallas that setup man Daniel Bard told him his preference is to start rather than relieve, but Bard later clarified his position, suggesting there was some miscommunication and saying he'd fill whatever role the team needs.

"I really didn't give an actual preference," Bard said via text message to ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald. "I did make it very clear to them that I have no reservations about moving to the rotation. I told them I'd take any role they choose to give me and run with it, whether that's starting or closing. I guess by making it clear that I would be willing to start may have made it seem like a preference, but I just want to make it clear that I felt like I could thrive in either role."

Bard almost certainly will come into camp physically preparing to be a starter, although that would not preclude him from returning to the bullpen. GM Ben Cherington said Monday that no decision has been made on whether Bard will be used as a starter or reliever in 2012, and his efforts to bolster the pitching staff likely will help determine Bard's role.