The Mariners officially re-signed Erik Bedard today to a one year deal worth $1.5MM guaranteed with a mutual option for 2011 worth $8MM. Incentives based on games and time in the majors could bring the total payout in 2010 close to $8.5MM, and there are similar escalators for 2011 as well. The southpaw started throwing at his Navan, Ontario home last month, and said the Mariners were his "first choice."
Bedard, 31 in March, believes he could be pitching in May after having surgery last August to repair a frayed labrum and inflamed bursa in his throwing shoulder, though a June or July return may be more realistic. He'd previously had a shoulder procedure in September of '08 to remove a cyst. The Mariners were satisfied enough with his physical to go forward with the deal.
Hip and arm injuries have limited Bedard to just 30 starts and 164 innings since initially coming to Seattle in a six-player blockbuster with the Orioles two years ago, however those were high quality innings: 3.24 ERA, 8.9 K/9, 3.87 FIP. Once healthy, he'll slot in behind Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee to form a potent 1-2-3 punch in the Great Northwest.
GM Jack Zduriencik has been a very busy man this winter. In addition to bringing back Bedard, he also imported in Lee, Chone Figgins, Milton Bradley, Eric Byrnes, Brandon League, Ryan Garko, and Casey Kotchman while locking up Hernandez and Franklin Gutierrez to long-term deals. The Orioles, Royals, and Red Sox also had varying degrees of interest in Bedard this offseason.
MLB.com's Jim Street initially reported the agreement, while Marc Brassard of Le Droit confirmed the deal and the terms. Kirby Arnold of The Everett Herald, Larry LaRue of The News Tribune, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com (Twitter), and Larry Stone of The Seattle Times (Twitter) added details along the way.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.