Reliever Bard, Red Sox reach 1-year deal 

Pitcher Daniel Bard and the Boston Red Sox reached agreement Saturday on a one-year contract and avoided salary arbitration.

Bard and the Red Sox settled at $1,612,500, the midpoint between the $1,825,000 he asked for and the $1.4 million the Red Sox offered. He made $505,000 last season.

The 26-year-old Bard went 2-9 with one save and a 3.33 ERA last season. He excelled as a setup man for Jonathan Papelbon until faltering in the final month.

Papelbon has since signed with Philadelphia and the Red Sox have acquired All-Star closer Andrew Bailey and reliever Mark Melancon.

There has been talk Bard might fit into Boston's depleted rotation. John Lackey will miss the 2012 season after surgery on his right elbow and Daisuke Matsuzaka is still recovering from right elbow surgery.

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