Erik Bedard Rumors

Rays To Re-Sign Erik Bedard

The Rays have agreed to re-sign left-handed starter Erik Bedard to a minor league deal, reports MLB.com's Bill Chastain via Twitter. Bedard will provide the club with some depth in the upper minors.

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.


Rays Release Erik Bedard

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.


Erik Bedard Could Opt Out Of Deal With Rays

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.



Quick Hits: SABR, Sandoval, Bedard, Twins, Owings

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. 

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.


Rays Likely To Sign Erik Bedard

The Rays are likely to sign left-hander Erik Bedard to a minor league deal, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo noted yesterday that Tampa could add a veteran starter on a minor league deal in the near future and listed Bedard as a possibility (Twitter link).

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 today, 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.


Dan Haren, Erik Bedard Clear Waivers

Nationals pitcher Dan Haren and Astros hurler Erik Bedard have cleared waivers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).  Mariners infielder Brendan Ryan and White Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom have also cleared waivers and even though the clubs floated them out there prior to the non-waiver deadline, it's not clear how much interest they'll generate.

Haren was first placed on waivers last week, so the news that he cleared doesn't come as a surprise.  The Nats were expecting more than a 4.99 ERA when they signed the 32-year-old to a one-year, $13MM contract this offseason but his 8.0 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 are promising. Haren is owed just under $3.7MM for the remainder of the year.  The Nationals still have a shot at catching the Reds for the final Wild Card spot, however, and they're likely not in sell mode at the moment.

Bedard, 34, isn't a world-beater, but he could appeal to clubs as he is owed roughly $300K for the rest of the season.  The veteran owns a 4.28 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 21 starts and two relief outings in 2013.

Lindstrom, 33, has a 3.47 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 58 relief appearances for the White Sox this season.  The right-hander has been a little stronger in years past as he owns a career 3.62 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.


Players Who Have Cleared Waivers

MLBTR will continue to update this post as players reportedly clear revocable trade waivers, making it a running list of players that may be traded to any club in the season's final two months. Remember though, players must be acquired by Aug. 31 to be eligible for their new team's postseason roster. Click here for a further explanation of the August waiver and trade rules. Also bear in mind that a player's no-trade rights remain effective even if he clears waivers. Player names are linked to the source articles, and this article can always be found under the MLBTR Features portion of the sidebar on the right side of the page.

Last Updated: 8-15-2013

  • Elvis Andrus, Rangers — Andrus is under contract for an additional nine years and $124.475MM, making it no surprise that teams passed on claiming him. He was hitting .255/.317/.306 at the time he cleared waivers — a notable decline in production for the 24-year-old. The Rangers reportedly have no intention to trade him.
  • Erik Bedard, Astros — Bedard owns a 4.28 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 21 starts and two relief outings in 2013 for Houston.  The southpaw, who cleared waivers on Aug. 14, would be a really cheap pickup as he is owed just $300K for the rest of the season.  
  • Dan Haren, Nationals — Haren was placed on waivers on Aug. 8 without any clubs biting on him and his remaining $3.7MM in salary.  The right-hander owns a 4.99 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 so far in 2013 and he could be of interest to teams if the Nationals fall further back in the Wild Card chase. 
  • Brendan Ryan, Mariners — Word came down of Ryan clearing waivers on Aug. 14.  The M's were said to have him available before July 31st but couldn't find any takers.  
  • Matt Lindstrom, White Sox — Everyone needs relief help, but the White Sox were selling at the non-waiver deadline and couldn't find a suitable deal for Lindstrom.  The reliever, who has a 3.47 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9, cleared waivers on Aug. 14.
  • Justin Morneau, Twins — Morneau cleared waivers on Aug. 14, when he had roughly $3.5MM remaining on his $14MM salary. A free agent at season's end, Morneau was dreadful in July, batting .175/.266/.330. He homered six times in his first 10 games of August though, which could make teams reconsider their stance.
  • Barry Zito, Giants — Zito cleared waivers on Aug. 14, but at that point still had $5.14MM remaining on his $20MM salary. With an ERA north of 5.00 and that kind of money remaining on his deal, it seems likely that Zito will play out the rest of his widely panned contract in San Francisco.
  • Josh Johnson, Blue Jays — With more than $4MM left on his salary at the time he was placed on waivers, no team was apparently willing to take a risk that the big righty's poor results will begin to reflect his more promising peripherals. Unless Johnson hits an August hot streak, it seems likely that the Jays will hold onto him and consider whether to make him a qualifying offer when he reaches free agency at the end of the year.
  • Adam Dunn, White Sox — That Dunn cleared waivers isn't a huge surprise, given his $15MM salary in 2013 and in 2014. He's been red-hot since June 1, however, which could lead contending AL teams such as the Orioles and Rangers to show interest if the White Sox are willing to include some cash in the deal.
  • Jimmy Rollins, Phillies — Rollins has taken a big step back in production this year (especially on the power side of the ledger) and is owed $11MM for 2014 (and possibly the same for 2015 if his option vests). The 34-year-old shortstop seems discinclined to waive his full no-trade rights, making him unlikely to change hands.
  • Michael Young, Phillies — The third baseman could be an August trade candidate given his expiring contract, experience, and serviceable (if unspectacular) 2013 campaign. He is reportedly willing to waive his no-trade protection to go to a contender.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


Astros Pitchers Drawing Major Interest

Astros starting pitcher Bud Norris and reliever Jose Veras are drawing considerable interest and it's likely that both players will be traded, sources tell Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  The Astros have said that they don't need to move Norris as his $3MM salary is affordable, but that also increases his value on the market.

The Orioles are one of the clubs that realize the value of Norris and other Astros hurlers.  Even though they've already been aggressive on the trade market by acquiring Scott Feldman from the Cubs and Francisco Rodriguez from the Brewers, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that they're likely not done and are speaking with Houston about acquiring more arms.  Baltimore likely would balk at the trade price for Norris – one report earlier this month said they're seeking two top prospects – but they could zero in on former O's lefty Erik Bedard or right-hander Lucas Harrell, sources told Rosenthal.

Meanwhile, one might guess that the Tigers would be among the leading suitors for Veras, but Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (via Twitter) hears that the Detroit front office is split on him.  Knobler's best guess is that the Tigers don't make a play for the reliever, but there are some within the organization that are fans.

Heyman notes that the Red Sox, Pirates, Phillies, Rangers, Giants, and Dodgers have also shown interest in Norris at some point, which should make for some competitive bidding.  Meanwhile, just about every contending team is considering relief help and the Pirates could be in that group after Jason Grilli was put on the shelf with a forearm issue. 

Veras has a 3.12 ERA on the season with 9.6 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 on the season.  Norris is also enjoying a solid campaign, posting a 3.91 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 through 20 starts.


Minor League Signees Winning Roster Spots

Each year teams parlay minor league signings into big rewards at the Major League level. In recent years, players like Ryan Vogelsong, Jared Burton and some guy named R.A. Dickey have been brought in on minor league deals and wound up signing extensions with their teams due to strong performance. Here's a look at some of the non-roster invitees from this offseason who have recently secured jobs with their teams:

  • Scott Kazmir has won the job as the Indians' fifth starter, Nick Camino of WTAM 1100 tweets. Kazmir's velocity has reported returned and he posted a strong Spring Training (13-to-1 K/BB ratio and a 3.46 ERA in 13 innings).
  • Ryan Raburn has won a spot on the Indians, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link). Raburn has hit .359/.479/.795 with four homers in 48 plate appearances this Spring.
  • Erik Bedard is expected to make the Astros' rotation, GM Jeff Luhnow told Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The Canadian has turned in six scoreless innings in official starts, with nine strikeouts and two walks.
  • Outfielder Wilkin Ramirez seems to have forced his way onto the Twins' 25-man roster, per MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger (on Twitter). Ramirez, who played in the minors for the Twins last season, hit .425/.465/.600 in 43 trips to the plate.
  • On Monday, it was announced that Rick Ankiel, Kameron Loe, Jason Giambi and LaTroy Hawkins (all Article XX(B) free agents) made their respective rosters.  Today, we learned that Jonathan Sanchez and Brandon Inge have roster spots with the Pirates.