Update 9 p.m.: Jim Street of MLB.com blogs that he’s hearing a one-year deal for $1.5 million plus incentives could be in the works for Bedard. That would be reasonable for someone coming off shoulder surgery. Bedard, who turns 31 in early March, made $7.5 million last year. Kirby Arnold of the Everett Herald, meanwhile, reports talking to someone familiar with Bedard’s labrum surgery last August who speculates Bedard could be ready by May — earlier than many baseball people have been expecting.
With the Mariners looking for one more starting pitcher, and the names Jarrod Washburn and Erik Bedard continuing to swirl, it seems like a good time for a poll.
Washburn could conceivably help the Mariners from the start of the season, provided he’s over the knee issues that de-railed him in Detroit (and his agent, Scott Boras, says he is; Washburn underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in November).
Bedard, on the other hand, would be delayed gratification. He’s coming off shoulder surgery, and would likely be rehabbing for much of the first half of the year. But Bedard would certainly be a nice addition to thrust into the rotation at mid-season, provided he can get healthy.
General manager Jack Zduriencik has been non-committal (at least to us journalists; apparently he sings like a bird when he’s talking to the high rollers 🙂 about his pursuit of either player, but Washburn, in particular, makes a lot of sense. He’s comfortable here, and has expressed a desire to return. It’s likely a matter of how much he’s willing to come down from last year’s $10.35 million salary, and how much the Mariners are still willing to expand their payroll. A lower base with incentives seems reasonable. By most accounts, it’s down to Minnesota and Seattle on Washburn.
Bedard would also be a worthwhile flier provided he’ll accept an incentive-laden deal, and the Mariners are willing to be patient with his rehab. It’s high reward, but also high risk, in that the success rate of pitchers coming back from labrum injuries — his was torn — is not great.
What do you think?