Rays Sign Erik Bedard

MONDAY: Bedard would earn $1.15MM if he makes the MLB roster, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. He can also earn up to $1.625MM more based on the number of starts he makes (ranging from eight to thirty). Bedard can opt out of his deal on March 23rd.

FRIDAY, 7:58am: The Rays have officially confirmed the signing on Twitter.

7:40am: The Rays have agreed to a minor league contract and an invitation to big league Spring Training with left-hander Erik Bedard, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweeted last night that the two were likely to strike such a deal, and MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo first connected the two sides on Wednesday. Bedard is a client of Relativity Baseball.

The 34-year-old Bedard spent the 2013 campaign with the Astros, posting a 4.59 ERA with 8.2 K/9, 4.5 BB/9 and a 36.4 percent ground-ball rate in 151 innings as both a starter and reliever. Bedard has always been injury prone, but until the past two seasons, he had always been effective when on the active roster. From 2006-11, Bedard posted a 3.44 ERA and whiffed 679 batters against 245 walks in 671 1/3 innings. Since that time, however, he's turned in just a 4.78 ERA in 276 2/3 innings between Pittsburgh and Houston.

Though he was emerging as one of the game's better pitchers before being struck by injuries in the mid-2000s, Bedard is probably most famous for the trade that sent him from Baltimore to Seattle. Former Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail flipped Bedard to the Mariners in a trade that netted Adam JonesChris TillmanGeorge SherrillKameron Mickolio and Tony Butler. Jones and Tillman, of course, are cornerstones in Baltimore now. Sherrill was flipped to the Dodgers in a trade for top prospect Josh Bell and righty Steve Johnson (who is still with the organization), and Mickolio was one of two pitchers used to acquire Mark Reynolds from Arizona.

The Rays have already added some pitching depth in the past 24 hours, landing righty Nate Karns from the Nationals in exchange for Jose Lobaton and a pair of prospects. Signing Bedard would add to that depth — a need that is of increased importance due to the news that Jeremy Hellickson will miss the first six to eight weeks of the season following elbow surgery.

Tampa's rotation figures to be led by former Cy Young winner David Price, with Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi rounding out the starting five as Hellickson recovers. Should Odorizzi struggle or should a starter get injured in Spring Training, Bedard could work his way into the mix. It's also possible that he begins the season in the bullpen and fills a swingman role for the Rays in the earlygoing.

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11 Comments on "Rays Sign Erik Bedard"

1 year 7 months ago

If any team can give Bedard a bounceback season, its the Rays.

1 year 7 months ago

Lefties are like cats. You think they’re dead, and they just keep coming back. Over and over and over. If you want to have an illustrious minor league career at the very least, learn to throw left handed or catch and call a decent game. Way to make it work, EB!

1 year 7 months ago

I think of the great great Townes van Zandt song Poncho and Lefty.

Lefty lived on but left for Cleveland.

Save a few for Lefty too.

1 year 7 months ago

Comical how you put that. Tommy Hutton, long time color commentator on the marlins always said Jamie Moyer threw up a “dead fish” every game against his Marlins he was so tough vs them. At one time Moyer was like 12-0, 12-1.. They would chase everything he threw and it was a sick joke in a way watching them flail away at Moyer’s collection of off speed “junk”. A “dead fish” was the perfect word for what the Marlins were at the end of the game and only at the very last of his career did they beat him a game or 2.

1 year 7 months ago

You know what’s scary? You mentioned “long time color commentator on the Marlins”. It seems like yesterday I was reading about Nigel Wilson being their first expansion draft pick. 20+ years is a long time, but I’ve been around 15 years longer than that franchise. If Tommy Hutton is long-time anything, then I’m really starting to feel like a geezer.

Ron Loreski
1 year 7 months ago

Bedard is living proof that there’s always a job for a lefty.

1 year 7 months ago

Why the M’s with only Charlie Furbush as a healthy proven lefty (and Paxton as a rookie, and Wolf/Miner as rehab projects) didn’t sign Bedard to come out of the pen, or in case of poor performance or insurance (Iwakuma, Walker), is beyond me. This is the team that invested vast sums in prospects (AdamJones/ Tilman/ Sherrill/ et al) and medical rehabbing (after Erik was one of very very few pitchers to come back from a serious labrum tear in his left shoulder) to secure the services of the this pitcher.

So why not now, when the man with one of the best curveballs in baseball is cheap> I don’t get what Jack Zduriencik was (or wasn’t) thinking here. Bedard is a solid bullpen conversion project that will add four or five years to this pitcher’s career.

1 year 7 months ago

Because of the fact that he has bad history here. They should bring Perez back over Bedard. Not that I wouldn’t mind having Bedard again coming out of the pen as a specialist, long reliever, or making a spot start. I just think management and fans would like to wash their hands of the whole thing. Kind of like Guti and his stomach ailments. Fans loved and hated him just like they “kinda liked” and hated Bedard.

1 year 7 months ago

One of the most unpleasant players you will ever meet or encounter. I hope he finds happiness in TB.

– An O’s Fan.

1 year 7 months ago

Didn’t like him much in his short stint with the Red Sox, dunno why.

1 year 7 months ago

I guess Bedard has sort of made a career out of being another Chris Capuano or Chad Gaudin (swing men). Something tells me he’d be more effective though with fewer starts and more long relief outings. Pretty good move for the Rays.