Well, it looks like the Mariners are not prepared to give up on the whole Erik Bedard experiment just yet. The team announced moments ago that Bedard had been signed to a one-year deal. Expect lots of incentives.
In fact, the team’s statement says the deal is “non-guaranteed” meaning plenty of incentives that would, obviously, include Bedard getting on a mound. Bedard earned $1.5 million last year despite not throwing a pitch for the Mariners. He then had an $8 million option for 2011, which the M’s naturally declined to exercise, making the left-handed starter a free agent.
The Navan, Ont. native has had three shoulder surgeries in three seasons since coming to Seattle in exchange for five players back in 2008. Bedard has made just 30 starts during his time here, but the Mariners clearly hope that, once healthy, he can return to being one of the premier left handers in the game.
Yes, this is a risk of sorts, since he is taking up a roster spot. But it’s a minimal risk given the money involved. Bedard, 31, will be entering his fourth season with the Mariners, believe it or not, and it’s safe to say he is developing a bit of a comfort zone with the club. He and Felix Hernandez have become inseparable buddies inside the clubhouse and those close to Bedard say his sense of humor has grown on teammates and made him part of the group despite the lack of mound time.
Bedard’s struggles last year might have brought the M’s closer to him than ever before. He was clearly devastated at not being able to pitch and the players seemed to rally around him more sympathetically than in the past.
Hopefully, he’s over the shoulder troubles. If he is, that’s one potential veteran guy behind Hernandez in the rotation.