Many of you keep writing in to ask me about Erik Bedard and whether the Mariners could still bring him back.
The easy answer is yes, they still could.
The problem is, nobody really has a handle on when he’ll actually be back. The most optimistic suggestions I’ve heard from around the game is that Bedard could be ready to pitch in a major league game by May.
On the pessimistic side, I’m hearing he’s unlikely to be ready by the first half.
Obviously, that’s a big discrepancy.
And it’s a reason why you aren’t hearing any buzz at the moment about teams getting in on bidding for Bedard. Sure, there are interested clubs: the Baltimore Orioles being prime among those.
Here’s what M’s trainer Rick Griffin told us about Bedard in an update this week:
“I talked to Erik last week a couple of times. I talk to his therapist every 10 days or so,” Griffin said. “We’re still responsible, and I feel we have a responsibility to Erik to help him any way we can to get him going. He’s going into therapy three or four times a week, and he’s working out at home. I talked to him, and he said he feels really, really good. He’s making good progress.”
But until teams have a better gauge on his recovery, you won’t see any money thrown his way. Yes, any offers to Bedard are likely to be heavily loaded with incentives — much more so than what Rich Harden got from the Rangers last week. After all, Harden pitched last season and is not coming off a surgery this winter.,
Bedard hasn’t finished any of his past three seasons and had shoulder surgery the past two years running, So, folks are going to want to monitor his progress this winter, as the Mariners have done on a weekly basis.
Bottom line: no one is counting on him to answer the bell come April.
And when that’s the case, you make your roster plans accordingly. The Mariners will go out and plan their five-man rotation assuming that Bedard will not be a part of it. Later this winter, if Bedard shows signs of recovering from his shoulder woes and provides a better indication of when he’ll be ready, teams can begin their bidding according to how much they’ll reasonably expect to get out of him next season.
But right now, it’s all up in the air. And to speculate would be useless.