The Colorado Rockies agreed to one-year contracts with Daniel Bard and Tyler Kinley, avoiding arbitration.
Bard's deal is worth $4.4 million, while Kinely will get $1.025, a source said. Both salaries line up almost exactly with their projected amount from MLB trade rumors.
Bard, 36, returned to the major leagues in 2020, seven years after his last appearance. A serious case of the yips halted what once had been a promising young career with the Boston Red Sox. He retired in 2017, and took a position with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a franchise mentor.
But he came back in 2020, signing with the Rockies for the pandemic-shortened season. He earned NL comeback player of the year, and entered 2021 as the Rockies closer.
He held that spot for most of the season, with the team standing behind him even as his numbers faltered. Bard was removed from his closer role at the end of the year and finished the season with a 5.21 ERA. Unless the Rockies sign a closer, Bard is expected to be given another shot at the spot next season, sharing duties with Carlos Estévez.
Bard was also the leader of the young bullpen last year, acting as a guide for the unit that oftentimes contained four to five rookies.
Kinley, 30, showed improvements in his second season in Colorado. He was claimed off waivers by the Rockies prior to the 2020 season, and he posted a 4.73 ERA last season. He also led the team with 70.1 innings pitched.
Kinley had a 2.87 ERA in the last month of the season, allowing just one run in last last five appearances at Coors Field. He pitched primarily the seventh and eighth innings.
The Rockies likely have only until midnight on Wednesday before the league is expected to enter a lockdown, halting, among other things, free agency signings and trades. While other teams — especially the Rangers, Marlins and Mets — have been a flurry of activity, the Rockies have yet to sign a player who was not on their roster last season. Jhoulys Chacín and CJ Cron were both given new deals earlier this offseason, while Elias Díaz and Antonio Senzatela agreed to extensions.