Erik Bedard Rumors

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.

Astros Sign Erik Bedard

The Astros have announced the signing of left-hander Erik Bedard to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training via press release. The 33-year-old is represented by SFX.

Bedard was the Opening Day starter for the Pirates last season after signing a one-year deal worth $4.5MM. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, Bedard's season wasn't nearly as strong as the 2011 campaign he split between the Mariners and Red Sox. He managed just a 5.01 ERA in 125 2/3 innings before being released in August. He displayed his typical high strikeout rate (8.5 K/9) but was also plagued by sub-par command (4.0 BB/9).

Bedard has a 3.85 ERA, 8.7 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 1,077 career innings between the Orioles, Mariners, Red Sox and Pirates. Following his best season in 2007, he was traded from Baltimore to Seattle for a package highlighted by Adam Jones and Chris Tillman. Since that time, he's managed just 419 innings, although his 3.89 ERA, 8.7 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in that span are all very close to his career numbers.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters, including MLB.com's Brian McTaggart, that there's a "strong chance" Bedard will crack Houston's rotation (Twitter link). In addition to Bedard, Luhnow has added several rotation options to his team this offseason. As MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows, the Astros have claimed Philip Humber on waivers and acquired both John Ely and Alex White via trade.


Quick Hits: Mariners, Lohse, Soriano, Gerut

Kyle Lohse placed tenth on MLBTR's list of the offseason's top free agents, a reflection of the fact that Tim Dierkes expects the right-hander to help his next team. But unless something has changed in the last three days, Lohse hasn't received a single contract offer this winter. He’s tied to draft pick compensation after turning down a qualifying offer, and that has no doubt limited his leverage. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs argues that the hate has gone too far, showing convincingly that Lohse adds value at the plate, on the field and, of course, as a pitcher. Here are more links from around MLB…

  • The Mariners would like to add a lefty to the rotation to replace Jason Vargas, but don't expect it to be Joe Saunders or Erik Bedard, writes MLB.com's Greg Johns in a Mariners Inbox piece. If a lefty joins the rotation, it's more likely to be one of Seattle's top prospects like James Paxton or Danny Hultzen.
  • It’s still early to be assessing the way the new collective bargaining agreement shapes the market for free agents such as Lohse, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes. While the market for certain players linked to draft pick compensation does seem slow, Davidoff points out that every one of these players declined a $13.3MM qualifying offer.
  • Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record hears that agent Scott Boras asked the Yankees last month if they'd consider re-signing free agent closer Rafael Soriano to a one-year contract (Twitter link). The Yankees flatly denied the request, Klapisch writes. ESPN.com's Buster Olney says the Yankees prefer the value of the draft pick and accompanying spending limit increase to the on-field value of Soriano (Twitter link).
  • Former MLB player Jody Gerut is working to reduce athlete bankruptcy in his new role as an agent with Wasserman Media Group, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com reports. Gerut's focusing on educating athletes, particularly Latin Americans, about how to manage their finances.

AL East Links: Peterson, A-Rod, Otani, Orioles, Loney

The Red Sox will interview Rick Peterson for their pitching coach job, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter).  The Orioles granted Boston permission to interview Peterson, who is currently Baltimore's director of pitching development and is a former pitching coach with the A's, Mets and Brewers.

Here's the latest from around the AL East…


Orioles Links: Bundy, Bedard, Roster Moves

The newly-acquired Joe Saunders makes his Orioles debut tonight against the White Sox as the O's look for their fifth straight victory.  A Baltimore win would put the Orioles just 2.5 games behind the Yankees for first place in the AL East.  Here are some notes from Charm City…

  • Dylan Bundy won't be called up for the Orioles' pennant drive, manager Buck Showalter told reporters (including MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli).  The right-hander will instead pitch in the instructional league once the Double-A season concludes.  While Showalter "couldn’t ask for a better progression” of Bundy's minor league development, he and the team feel that the 19-year-old Bundy isn't yet ready for Major League hitters.
  • The Orioles don't appear to be interested in left-hander Erik Bedard, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.  The Pirates released Bedard yesterday after the southpaw posted a 5.01 ERA, 8.5 K/9 rate and a 2.11 K/BB ratio in 24 starts in Pittsburgh.  Bedard spent five seasons with the O's before being traded to the Mariners in 2008 in the deal that brought Adam Jones and Chris Tillman (among others) to Baltimore.
  • Showalter also told reporters (including Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore) that the team is looking at Randy Wolf as a starting pitcher, though he isn't ruling out using Wolf out of the bullpen.  The Orioles will sign Wolf and activate him before Friday but the deal hasn't yet been officially finalized.
  • GM Dan Duquette hasn't been afraid to make moves this year, as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal notes how the Orioles' willingness to shuffle their roster has helped the team to their surprising record.

Pirates Release Erik Bedard

The Pirates released lefty Erik Bedard, reported Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Sulia.  Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette later confirmed the story.  The Pirates confirmed that they have released Bedard and announced that they'll make a related move this afternoon.

Bedard, 33, posted a 5.01 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, 1.00 HR/9, and 43.3% groundball rate in 125 2/3 innings this year.  The Bucs signed Bedard in December to a one-year, $4.5MM free agent deal, so they still owe him about $910K.  Assuming Bedard hooks on somewhere, he's on track to reach 130 innings for the first time since 2007.  He's had some nice runs this year, but an 8.79 ERA over his past three outings may have been the nail in the coffin for the Pirates as they battle for a wild card spot. 

Veteran Kevin Correia could be a candidate to replace Bedard in the team's rotation.  A.J. Burnett, James McDonald, Wandy Rodriguez and Jeff Karstens round out the Pirates' starting five.


Trade Candidate: Erik Bedard

Uspw_6215474Few could have foreseen Erik Bedard's relatively disappointing career arc after his brilliant breakout campaign as an Oriole in 2007. The left-hander was worth 5.4 WAR that year, striking out more than a batter per inning, and he finally seemed to have harnessed his nasty raw stuff in a way that would translate to a stretch of dominance.

But the cruel reality of injuries intervened in literally every season since then, reducing Bedard to that frustrating type of player who is effective during his fleeting stretches of relative health. Now with the Pirates after quietly signing a one-year contract with them as a free agent this offseason, Bedard is looking like a strong in-season trade candidate — with that all too familiar caveat: if he can stay healthy.

Such a trade would not be new territory for Bedard. Last season, the Red Sox acquired the southpaw from the Mariners in an interesting three-way swap that netted Seattle a decent prospect in outfielder Trayvon Robinson. Even within the context of that trade, Bedard showed his best and worse: He turned in several strong second-half outings for the Red Sox, but he also missed roughly three starts due to various injuries during the team's brutal September collapse. So, the upside is there, but so is the risk.

Bedard has gotten off to a decent start this season (he struck out nine in five innings during his start today), and more importantly, he's been healthy. If he can continue to take the hill every fifth day over the next month, Bucs GM Neal Huntington would be wise to start phoning starting-needy contenders, especially considering that Bedard's modest $4.5MM salary shouldn't be a deterrent for most suitors. The Yankees, for one, might fit that bill, depending upon how they handle their beleaguered rotation in the coming weeks.

Even if Bedard were to yield a medium or low probability prospect with a high upside — a la Robinson — it might be worth it for the rebuilding Pirates to pull the trigger during another season that surely won't end in a postseason berth.