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Cubs Non-Tender Daniel Bard

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Theo Epstein gambled on his former Boston set-up man, but his bet didn't pay off.

USA TODAY Sports

Reports from ESPN.com and others say that the Cubs will not offer a contract to right-handed reliever Daniel Bard before tonight's 11 pm Central deadline. He never appeared in a game for the Cubs at either the major or minor league level.

The Cubs claimed Bard from the Red Sox on September 4 after Boston placed him on waivers. Bard was one of the brightest and hardest-throwing young relievers in the game in 2010 and 2011, but his career has been plagued by injuries and a complete loss of control since then. Bard had shown no improvement in his command in the Puerto Rico winter league, having walked nine batters in three appearances and only retiring one batter in that time.

It is possible that Bard returns on a minor league contract if no other team is interested in him.

There are no reports of other players being non-tendered yet, although the Cubs did sign Darnell McDonald to a minor league deal. Presumably the deal includes an invitation to spring training. In any case, Darnell seems to be pretty excited about it.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Thanks twitter fam!! Who else can&#39;t wait for 2014?!? <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23cubs&amp;src=hash">#cubs</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23teammotivated&amp;src=hash">#teammotivated</a> #54</p>&mdash; Darnell McDonald (@MacDime54) <a href="https://twitter.com/MacDime54/statuses/407648306123128832">December 2, 2013</a></blockquote>

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McDonald hit .301/.352/.434 in 25 games for the Cubs last season. Presumably, he could provide depth in the outfield either in Chicago or Iowa.

If other players are non-tendered tonight, this post will be updated to include that information.