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Erik Bedard Rumors
Bedard, 36, was only just returning to action after suffering a strained muscle in his back. He had thrown 14 1/3 innings at the High-A level on the season, striking out seven and walking one while allowing eight earned runs.
The southpaw is well removed from his heyday, but was once one of the more effective starters in the game. Pitching for the Orioles, he came in fifth in the Cy Young voting back in 2007, when he threw 182 innings of 3.16 ERA ball with a league-leading 10.9 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9.
That big campaign led the Mariners’ to deal for him, forking over a prospect package fronted by Adam Jones and Chris Tillman to add him. Though Bedard continued to put up good results, shoulder issues bit hard and limited him to 255 1/3 frames over his three years in Seattle (plus another 38 after he was dealt to the Red Sox in the middle of 2011).
Bedard has bounced around since, putting up solid strikeout numbers but failing to hold down the free passes. All told, Bedard has racked up just over 1,300 big league innings of 3.99 ERA pitching while averaging 8.6 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, and a 41.9% groundball rate.
The Dodgers would consider acquiring a pitcher in his absence of starting pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu, but likely only a depth move, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. On Sunday, the team sent Ryu to Los Angeles to see a doctor after he reported discomfort in the shoulder that ailed him at times last season. He will begin the season on the disabled list. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says the team could potentially have interest in “more depth starting pitching, but that is no different than we have tried to get all offseason.”
They don’t sound optimistic in finding even that type of pitcher, ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon writes. “This is just a hard time to go out there and acquire starting pitching depth,” says GM Farhan Zaidi. “We’re fielding calls from teams that are asking us about our starting pitching depth, so there aren’t a lot of starting pitching sellers right now.”
Bedard, 35, pitched 75 2/3 innings for the Rays in 2014, posting a 4.76 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 before being designated for assignment in late July and then released in August by current Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, then the Rays’ GM.
Bedard’s strikeout rate and velocity have declined steeply in the past several years, and he’s developed pronounced fly ball tendencies, making him vulnerable to home runs. He’s also never been an innings-eater, averaging just over five innings per start in the last three seasons. Still, reduced velocity isn’t always a kiss of death for a lefty, and Bedard’s peripherals remain palatable, if unspectacular. He could provide the Dodgers with useful depth, particularly if oft-injured fellow southpaw Brett Anderson isn’t available.
Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB:
- The Rays have released Erik Bedard and Juan Carlos Oviedo, according to MiLB.com. The Rays had designated both pitchers for assignment earlier in the week.
- The Phillies have announced that they’ve re-signed OF Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor league deal. He will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Gwynn hit .163/.281/.204 in 119 plate appearances for the Phillies this season. They released him last week.
- Instead of electing free agency, infielder Tony Abreu has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A by Giants, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Abreu was designated for assignment Tuesday after appearing in only four games. The 29-year-old owns a .280/.329/.428 slash line in 259 plate appearances this season for Triple-A Fresno.
- The Giants announced infielder Nick Noonan has cleared waivers and will be outrighted to Triple-A Fresno. The 25-year-old was designated for assignment July 25. Noonan, the 32nd overall selection in the 2007 draft, made his MLB debut last season slashing .219/.261/.238 in 111 plate appearances, but has struggled this year with a .239/.281/.302 line in 340 plate appearances between Triple-A Fresno and Class-A Advanced San Jose.
- The Marlins tweeted left-hander Donnie Joseph has been outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans. The 26-year-old was designated for assignment Thursday after the Marlins acquired Jarred Cosart from the Astros. Joseph was picked up from the Royals for cash considerations June 30 and has spent his entire time in the Marlin organization at Triple-A posting an 11.05 ERA, 6.1 K/9, and 9.8 BB/9 in six relief outings covering 7 1/3 innings.
- The Diamondbacks have acquired outfielder Blake Tekotte from the White Sox for cash, per the MLB.com transactions page. Tekotte, who made 36 plate appearances for the White Sox in 2013 good for a slash of .226/.306/.355, will report to Triple-A Reno. The 27-year-old posted a .251/.324/.438 line in 318 plate appearances for the White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate.
- The Padres have released right-hander Billy Buckner from their Triple-A affiliate, according to the Pacific Coast League’s transactions page. The 30-year-old made one spot start for the Padres on May 24 allowing three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. In 15 appearances (14 starts) for Triple-A El Paso, Buckner has posted a 5.80 ERA, 6.2 K/9, and 4.7 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings.
- Also from the PCL transactions page, the Angels have released catcher Luis Martinez from their Triple-A affiliate. The 29-year-old, whose last MLB action was with the Rangers in 2012, hit .262/.329/.403 in 212 plate appearances for Salt Lake this season.
- Martinez didn’t stay unemployed very long as he was signed by the A’s and assigned to Triple-A Sacramento. The roster causality is catcher Luis Exposito, despite producing at a .303/.410/.394 clip since Oakland signed him June 26 after being released by the Tigers.
- Ten players find themselves in DFA limbo, as tracked by MLBTR’s DFA Tracker: Dan Uggla and Tyler Colvin (Giants), Jeff Francis and Brian Roberts (Yankees), Josh Wall and Dean Anna (Pirates), Ryan Feierabend (Rangers), David Carpenter (Angels), Nick Christiani (Reds), and Pedro Hernandez (Rockies).
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.
Full Story | 2 Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Billy Buckner | Chicago White Sox | Donnie Joseph | Erik Bedard | Juan Carlos Oviedo | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Luis Exposito | Luis Martinez | Miami Marlins | Nick Noonan | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Tampa Bay Rays | Tony Abreu | Tony Gwynn Jr. | Transactions
The 35-year-old Bedard pitched 75 2/3 innings in a Rays uniform this season, tallying a 4.76 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 33.6 percent ground-ball rate. The former Orioles ace has seen his results diminish over the past few seasons, and he averaged a career-low 87.9 mph on his fastball this season. That drop in velocity likely has something to do with his 7.6 K/9 — also a career-low.
Bedard has yielded an identical .707 OPS to right-handed and left-handed hitters alike in his career to this point, though he developed a reverse-platoon split in 2014. Opposing lefties weren’t fooled by Bedard, slashing a healthy .273/.333/.494 against the veteran Canadian. Bedard signed a minor league deal with Tampa this offseason and made the team out of Spring Training. He’ll join a slew of players in DFA limbo, all of whom can be seen in MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.
Bedard posted a 4.59 ERA in 151 innings (26 starts and six relief appearances) last year with Houston. He struck out 8.2 and walked 4.5 batters per nine, registering a 36.4% ground ball rate.
The Rays have released pitcher Erik Bedard, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The 35-year-old hurler is expected to seek an MLB opportunity, though Tampa is still interested in bringing him back at the Triple-A level if he does not find a big league roster spot.
Throwing for the Astros last year, Bedard managed a 4.59 ERA in 151 innings over 26 starts and six relief appearances. He struck out batters at a clip of 8.2 K/9 while surrendering 4.5 BB/9 and posting a 36.4% ground ball rate. The veteran southpaw should hold some appeal for clubs looking for an arm to eat innings at the back of a rotation or, possibly, in the bullpen.
8:57pm: Cotillo now tweets that Bedard would be willing to pitch out of the Rays' bullpen if they add him to the 25-man roster. Otherwise, he will opt out of his contract.
4:50pm: Starting pitcher Erik Bedard will opt out of his deal with the Rays, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish tweets. Bedard lost out on the Rays' fifth starter job, which went to Jake Odorizzi. Bedard has said he is not interested in pitching in relief. "There’s a lot of starters who have been hurt [in spring training] so there’s a lot of chances and I’ll probably go somewhere else," Bedard told Doug Harrison of CBC Sports earlier this year. Bedard is represented by Relativity Baseball.
Bedard pitched 151 innings in Houston last season, posting a 4.59 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9. He has a career 3.94 ERA in ten big-league seasons with the Orioles, Mariners, Red Sox, Pirates and Astros.
If you missed the recent SABR Analytics Conference, you are in luck, as Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus provides an excellent breakdown of the main topics of conversation. Among other things, the conference touched upon injury analytics, team chemistry, tracking technology, and front office personnel trends. Here are a few links from around the game to round out the evening:
- The Giants have yet to begin discussing a contract extension with third baseman Pablo Sandoval, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). With less than two weeks remaining before Opening Day, the sides will have to move quickly if there is any interest in making a run at a new contract before the start of the season. Sandoval is set to become one of the best available free agents following the 2014 season.
- Rays pitcher Erik Bedard says he will exercise his March 23rd opt-out clause if he does not make the Opening Day roster, tweets Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. Though Bedard has been knocked around somewhat in his 11 1/3 spring innings, he says he would look to find a rotation opening elsewhere.
- Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said today that the front office has been fielding calls about possible trades as rosters begin to take shape, tweets Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Antony indicated that out-of-options players are the key topic. As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes recently reported, the Twins have eight out-of-options players of their own, several of whom are still battling for roles. Presumably, the team could also be a landing spot for the out-of-options players from other clubs.
- Free agent Micah Owings is looking for a job as a pitcher, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDIsh.com. After transitioning to the field just last year, the 31-year-old will hold a showcase later this week as he returns to the bump.
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 Jones, Chris Tillman, George Sherrill, Kameron 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.