Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington had been doing his best to get all of his arbitration-eligible players signed before last Tuesday’s noon deadline of exchanging salary figures. When that deadline came and passed, he had four players to work out contracts with.

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Daniel Bard fields a ball off the bat of Toronto Blue Jays' Brett Lawrie in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. The Blue Jays defeated the Red Sox 1-0 in 11 innings.Among those four was Daniel Bard.

Well now, it’s down to three as the Red Sox and Bard avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year, $1.625 million deal. Bard had asked for $1.825 million while the Red Sox were offering $1.4 million. Bard was eligible for arbitration as a Super-Two. He made $505,000 last year.

Bard was told during the offseason that he will be given a chance to compete for a spot in the starting rotation. If he doesn’t stick as a starter, he’ll return to a revamped Red Sox bullpen in 2012.

He was 2-9 with a 3.33 ERA and one save in 70 appearances last year. In 192 career games over 2.5 seasons, Bard is 5-13 with a 2.88 ERA and five saves in 192 appearances.

Cherington now has to try and reach deals with Alfredo Aceves, the newly acquired Andrew Bailey and David Ortiz before they go to arbitration sometime in February.

Aceves is seeking $1.6 million was the Red Sox are offering $900,000. Bailey is looking for $4.7 million while the Red Sox are offering $3.35 million. Big Papi is asking for $16.5 million while the Red Sox are looking to pay him $12.65 million.

Of the three, the most likely scenario is that Big Papi ends up going to arbitration.

Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.

Photo credit: AP Photo