Boston Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard issued a text message to Red Sox beat reporters, during which he said that he is happy for Jonathan Papelbon but declined comment on his own uncertain status for next season.
"I'm happy for Pap, as he's worked extremely had for this, and he and his family will be missed in Boston," Bard texted the Boston Herald's reporters, referring to Papelbon's new four-year, $50 million contract to pitch in Philadelphia. But Bard declined comment on any other topics, especially his possible move to the closer role, until the Red Sox hire a manager and pitching coach.
With Papelbon's departure, the Red Sox will need a new closer next season. General manager Ben Cherington noted that Bard "is ready for more responsibility," but the team has not committed to promoting Bard into that opening. Reports say the Red Sox are interested in adding free agent closers Ryan Madson or Heath Bell.
Bard finished the 2011 season 2-9 with a 3.33 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 73.0 innings pitched.