Rangers near deal with Daniel Bard

Updated: January 31, 2014, 8:29 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers are putting the finishing touches on a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training with reliever Daniel Bard, general manager Jon Daniels confirmed Friday.

Bard, 28, had surgery Jan. 2 to repair thoracic outlet syndrome after struggling in winter ball with the Chicago Cubs, who had picked him up off waivers in September.

Bard was 5-6 with a 6.22 ERA in 2012 with the Boston Red Sox, who attempted to put him in the rotation that season. He was in the minors most of 2013.

From 2009 to 2011, Bard was a solid reliever, posting a 2.88 ERA with 213 strikeouts and 76 walks in 197 innings.

"He was one of the elite relievers in the game for probably a three-year run," Daniels said. "Matt Harrison was pitching instructional league games 2½ months after his surgery. We'll see once he gets in and we get our arms wrapped around him. This is the time of year you take chances on guys. This is taking a chance on a guy with a pedigree at being one of the best at what he does."

The Rangers also announced reliever Joe Ortiz had surgery Friday and will be out for three months.

Ortiz broke his left foot when he was run over by a motorcycle while home in Venezuela.

The left-hander was 2-2 with a 4.32 ERA in 32 appearances last season. He struck out 27 and walked 10 over 44 2/3 innings in his rookie season.

Ortiz had made 184 minor league appearances in the Rangers' system before making it to the majors last season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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