Erik Bedard Rumors
Southpaw Erik Bedard hasn't pitched into August since 2007, but the Red Sox are hoping he can bolster their rotation for the rest of the season. The Sox acquired Bedard from Seattle today in a complicated trade:
- Red Sox get: starter Erik Bedard, reliever Josh Fields (both from Mariners)
- Mariners get: outfielder Trayvon Robinson (from Dodgers), outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang (from Red Sox)
- Dodgers get: catcher Tim Federowicz, reliever Juan Rodriguez, starter Stephen Fife (all from Red Sox)
Bedard, 32, has a 3.45 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.08 HR/9, and 41.7% groundball rate in 91 1/3 innings this year. That's his highest innings total since '07, as he endured multiple shoulder surgeries. With Daisuke Matsuzaka out for the season, Clay Buchholz battling back problems, and Jon Lester missing time this month with a strained shoulder muscle, the Sox will take whatever they can get from Bedard. Bedard recently returned from a month-long layoff due to a knee sprain. He's owed only $324K in additional base salary, but can make millions more in incentives.
In Robinson, the Mariners came away with the best prospect in the deal. The 23-year-old outfielder is hitting .293/.375/.563 at Triple-A. Baseball America ranked him tenth among Dodgers prospects heading into the season, saying he's "loaded with athleticism" and "could have four average or better tools." Chiang, signed by the Red Sox out of Taiwan in 2006, has a breakout .338/.399/.647 line at Double-A. The Mariners added two quality outfield prospects without giving up much.
The Ms did have to surrender Josh Fields, their first-round draft pick from 2008. The 25-year-old has experienced control problems in the high minors. Baseball America ranked him 24th among Mariners prospects prior to the season, writing, "he could be a useful middle reliever if he can tighten up his control."
Federowicz, a 23-year-old Double-A catcher, must have been the key to the deal for the Dodgers. He's a well-regarded defensive backstop, but has a .275/.337/.397 line at Double-A. Overall Dodgers' involvement is a bit of a head-scratcher, but we'll see if prospect experts agree.
Rodriguez, 22, has a 5.19 ERA with 13.4 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in 59 innings of relief at Class A this year. In parts of four professional seasons, he has a 3.31 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9. Fife, 24, has spent the past two seasons in the rotation of Boston's Double-A affiliate at Portland. He has a 3.66 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 103 1/3 innings this year.
The latest on Mariners southpaw Erik Bedard...
- The Red Sox, Cardinals, and one other team are eyeing Bedard, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.
- The Mariners and Cardinals are discussing Bedard, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. He adds that the ball is in the Cardinals' court. Acquiring Bedard would give the Cards strong rotation depth, as they added Edwin Jackson on Wednesday.
10:42pm: The Mariners appeared to be waiting until after this start to advance Bedard talks, a source tells WEEI's Alex Speier. The start won't necessarily cause suitors to drop out.
10:04pm: Mariners lefty Erik Bedard missed a month between starts due to a knee strain, and the rust showed tonight against the Rays. He threw 57 pitches, about half of them strikes, allowing four walks, three hits, and five earned runs in 1 1/3 innings (Aaron Laffey allowed a couple of inherited runners to score). The game was reportedly scouted by at least the Red Sox, Yankees, and Tigers. Bedard's character also took a couple of hits tonight courtesy of former Orioles executive Jim Duquette, though Bruce Chen had his back.
Orioles righty Jeremy Guthrie, on the other hand, fired seven innings of one-run ball against the Yankees to lower his ERA to 4.18. The contest was scouted by the Cardinals, Tigers, Brewers, and Rangers at the least, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Red Sox have also been linked to Guthrie, though Ken Rosenthal tweeted earlier today that the Orioles have been unmoved by the offers for their ace.
Mariners southpaw Erik Bedard will be a popular man tomorrow night, as he faces off against the Rays in his first start in over a month and last before the trade deadline. The latest:
- The Mariners like Bedard and he loves Seattle, tweets SI's Jon Heyman, so they haven't ruled out re-signing him.
- The Tigers are very unlikely to acquire Bedard, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
- The Red Sox and Yankees will have scouts in attendance, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, who say the Sox are "all over" the lefty. The Mariners have been scouting Boston's Double and Triple-A affiliates, according to the FOX writers.
- As I mentioned yesterday, it wouldn't be surprising if the Indians, Rangers, Pirates, Reds, and Diamondbacks scout this game as well. Despite Bedard's fragility, the Mariners' asking price is said to be high.
The latest on the Red Sox, who have the best record in the American League...
- The Red Sox are “still looking at all options,” including outfielders, but their focus may be shifting to pitching, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
- Lauber hears that the Red Sox didn’t actively pursue Colby Rasmus.
- The Red Sox will consider Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, Hiroki Kuroda, Jeremy Guthrie, Aaron Harang, and Ubaldo Jimenez as they decide whether to add a starting pitcher, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. ESPN's Jayson Stark names Kuroda, Bedard, Harden, and Jimenez as pitchers on their radar. He notes that the Red Sox have "stayed involved from the beginning" on Jimenez.
- The Red Sox wouldn't give up anything really good for Kuroda, opined MLB Network's Peter Gammons on WEEI's Mut & Merloni show.
- Gammons believes the Cubs' Reed Johnson is the most logical fit for an outfielder for Boston.
Brendan Ryan singled in the seventh to break up C.C. Sabathia's perfect game bid, but that didn't stop the Yankees from extending Seattle's losing streak to 17 games. The latest on the struggling Mariners...
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears that teams may value Doug Fister more than Hiroki Kuroda because Fister pitches in the American League and is under team control well beyond 2011, unlike Kuroda (Twitter link).
- The Mariners would deal Erik Bedard, who will pitch in front of a full scout section on Friday, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Fister, however, would "take a lot" to acquire.
- Bedard won't be easy to obtain, either. Sean McAdam of CSNNE hears that the Mariners are asking for a "ton" in exchange for the lefty (Twitter link).
- How many times does Jack Zduriencik have to repeat that Felix Hernandez isn’t going anywhere? The Mariners' GM told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com that Hernandez is staying put this summer.
- Brandon League told Greg Johns of MLB.com that he hopes to stay in Seattle. League appears to be in luck; Zduriencik said earlier today that he’s not trading his closer.
The Tigers and Red Sox are among the many, many teams interested in Mariners lefty Erik Bedard, tweets SI's Jon Heyman. Bedard has missed the last month with a knee sprain, but he'll be activated to start Friday's game against the Rays. You can bet that'll be a well-scouted affair.
Even back in April, it was apparent that Bedard could be the closest thing to an ace on the trade market if he stayed healthy. Knee injury aside, Bedard re-established himself with a 3.00 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, and 40.9% groundball rate in 90 innings, picking up steam as he went along. I can picture the Yankees, Indians, Rangers, Pirates, Cardinals, Reds, and Diamondbacks entering the fray as well, but Bedard has a good relationship with the Mariners and it's possible their best move is to re-sign him.
The latest on a few AL and NL West clubs...
- The Dodgers fired hitting coach Jeff Pentland and named Dave Hansen interim coach through season's end, the team announced on Twitter. Not that it's entirely Pentland's fault, but the Dodgers are 15th in the NL with 3.63 runs scored per game.
- Padres closer Heath Bell appeared on ESPN's Doug Gottlieb show yesterday. He thinks his top three suitors are the Rangers, Phillies, and Cardinals, and believes he'd probably close only for the Cards. SI's Jon Heyman says the Padres have considered taking draft picks for Bell after the season or re-signing him if they don't get what they want this month. Heyman lists the Phillies, Reds, Rangers, Cardinals, Pirates, Angels, (and the White Sox and Yankees to a lesser degree) as suitors. By the way, check out our Bell archive over at CloserNews for fantasy advice.
- Athletics lefty Craig Breslow interests the Brewers, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi expects many A's to be dealt this month, and notes that the Rangers, Orioles, Giants, Pirates, Blue Jays, Brewers and Reds scouted Tuesday's game in Detroit.
- Trade candidate Erik Bedard will likely have his return delayed until after the Mariners' series with Boston at Fenway this weekend, reports Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. He might have one start to display his health prior to the July deadline.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told SI's Jon Heyman he hasn't heard nor has he asked about his situation. Zduriencik's contract is up after this season.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti explained to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times that "it's not that cut and dry" to label his club buyers or sellers. Though the team has no chance in 2011, Colletti may be willing to acquire players who are controlled beyond this year.
In today's Insider-only blog post, Buster Olney says that a high-ranking official told him the "dam is about ready to burst on the trade market." The number of phone calls is multiplying and everyone is getting more serious. "I think that once July 24 hits, that's when you're going to see a bunch of things happen," said an AL official. "There's a lot of talk."
Let's round up Olney's rumors...
- The Tigers continue to look for high-end starters, not the third and fourth starter types that flood the market. They had scouts at Ubaldo Jimenez's most recent start.
- The Diamondbacks are focused on less expensive relief pitchers, like Brad Ziegler and Jason Isringhausen.
- The Mariners are pitching-rich and willing to listen to offers. Erik Bedard's knee may be healthy in time for him to make two starts before the deadline.
- Josh Willingham "is going to be traded at some point."
- Since the left-handed relief market is so thin, teams have begun scouting right-handed relievers that are effective against lefties. David Pauley, Mike Adams, Koji Uehara, Tyler Clippard, and Joel Peralta fit the bill.
- In a tweet, Olney says the Mets are insisting on a top prospect in return for Carlos Beltran. He adds that pressure on the Giants to add a bat is decreasing as their division lead continues to grow.
As Sunday winds down, here are a few loose items of note, including one on Nationals prized prospect Bryce Harper, who was on display in today's Futures Game.
- Mariners lefty Erik Bedard won't return to the mound any sooner than Seattle's July 22-24 series in Boston, meaning his trade value could be hampered by the fact that he'll only make, at most, two starts prior to July 31, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. With a lengthy injury history, teams may perceive Bedard as damaged goods, according to Baker, although a post-deadline trade is always possible if one doesn't come to pass before it.
- The Padres have several players whom they are highly unlikely to trade, although no one has been deemed entirely untouchable, a team source told Dan Hayes of the North County Times. Hayes speculates those guys are probably Anthony Rizzo, Mat Latos and Cameron Maybin (Twitter links).
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo reiterated to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that Harper will not be called up to the Majors this season (Twitter link). This looks like a developmental decision more so than a financial one -- Harper is just 18 and was recently promoted to Double-A.
- Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus polls scouts and execs for a compare/contrast piece on Harper and recent Angels callup Mike Trout at ESPN.com (Insider subscription needed). The two are generally considered the best prospects in baseball.