Erik Bedard Rumors


NL Central Rumors: Astros, Reds, Saito, Bedard

Tuesday night updates out of the NL Central, as MLBTR's 24-hour coverage of the Winter Meetings continues....

  • Rival executives view Rockies assistant GM Bill Geivett as the favorite for the Astros' GM job, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
  • Stephen Goff of the Houston Examiner hears (Twitter link) that the Astros may select a reliever with the first pick of Thursday's Rule 5 draft.
  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty talked about the team's search for pitching, and MLB.com's Mark Sheldon has the quotes. Jocketty also said Edgar Renteria's reps had contacted him, but the Reds probably aren't interested in signing him.
  • All signs are pointing to the Brewers bringing back Takashi Saito on a one-year deal, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Erik Bedard is drawing interest from the Pirates, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.



Rosenthal On Bedard, Papi, Gonzalez, Berkman

Here are some interesting tidbits courtesy of Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com:

  • The Red Sox wanted to acquire then Mariners starter Erik Bedard so badly that they tried to trade for the lefty while he was still on the disabled list in July. Fortuitously, Bedard threw a simulated game at Fenway Park when the M's were in Boston on July 23, shortly before his return from the DL. So, the Red Sox had a good chance to scout him before making an offer to Seattle and consummating the eventual trade.
  • Offseason negotiations between impending free agent David Ortiz and Boston "will not necessarily go smoothly," opines Rosenthal. The Red Sox will want to limit the years on a new deal for Papi, while the DH will seek a multiyear pact and a raise on his $12.5MM annaul salary.
  • Rangers lefty Mike Gonzalez, acquired last week from the Orioles, could be a huge pickup for Texas, which lacks a lefty killer in its bullpen.
  • Texas was serious about acquiring Lance Berkman from the Cardinals, but the Big Puma didn't want to be a rental player for the second consecutive year, according to Rosenthal, and St. Louis wanted to retain the veteran slugger in hopes of re-signing him this offseason.



Quick Hits: Red Sox, Indians

A couple notes regarding the Red Sox and Indians, who both won on Saturday night (in Boston's case, twice) ...



Quick Hits: Indians, Bedard, Braves, Phillies

Links for Thursday, before the Pirates try to reach the .500 mark and the Indians try to climb above it...

  • One GM told Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine that the Indians gave up an awful lot to get Ubaldo Jimenez, "a guy you're just not sure about." However, reliever Frank Herrmann told Kurkjian that he believes in Cleveland's GM. "We're not going to meddle in the way the front office works," Hermann said. "I would be upset if Chris Antonetti came down to the clubhouse and told me how to hold my curveball."
  • Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox never stopped pursuing Erik Bedard throughout their negotiations for Jimenez, Hiroki Kuroda and Rich Harden.
  • Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton told Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com that the Rangers want to prove that last year's World Series run was just the beginning. "We want to show we belong there, that it wasn't a fluke," Hamilton said. 
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Padres should have traded Heath Bell by now or signed him to an extension. Their best remaining option is to trade him this August, even though they have significantly less leverage than they did a month ago, Rosenthal says.
  • Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle can envision the Astros winning as many as 90 games in 2013 - but he can also envision three consecutive 100-loss seasons.
  • The Braves and Phillies will likely reinforce their bullpens internally, as Rosenthal explains. The Braves would like to add a right-hander and Peter Moylan, who is returning from back surgery, and minor leaguers Arodys Vizcaino and Julio Teheran are options. The Phillies, meanwhile, are looking forward to the return of Jose Contreras.



Heyman On Hendry, Yankees, Astros

Jon Heyman of SI.com looks back at the Cubs' quiet weekend and reports that rival teams were surprised when the Cubs said they wouldn't move Carlos Pena, Marlon Byrd and Jeff Baker. Here are the rest of Heyman's notes from around MLB... 

  • GM Jim Hendry has a strong rapport with Cubs ownership, according to people connected to the Cubs.
  • Yankees people don’t think Erik Bedard would last 20 minutes in New York. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein said Sunday that he’s happy to let Bedard’s arm respond to his critics.
  • The Astros hired an independent scout to watch their minor league affiliates and the scout found fewer than five players who should play in the Major Leagues.
  • MLB officials “seem determined” to convince the players’ association to agree to a slotting system for the amateur draft. The union doesn’t want capped bonuses, which would limit amateur players' earning power.



Quick Hits: Mets, Overbay, Springer, Storen, Stewart

Thanks to our loyal readers, MLBTR generated 3.1 million pageviews over the weekend!  We appreciate you making MLBTR a regular stop, and have a lot of cool things planned in the coming months.  On to today's links...



AL East Notes: Rays, Bedard, Hairston, Jimenez

The deadline has passed and the Yankees are the only team in the AL East that didn't make a deal. The Rays were pretty quiet, too, but there may have been a reason for that...

  • Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman underwent an appendectomy last night, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. However, that didn't stop Friedman from conducting business from his hospital room this afternoon.
  • The Red Sox and Mariners will each cover some of the incentives on Erik Bedard's contract, GM Jack Zduriencik told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). 
  • The Red Sox had interest in Scott Hairston, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). However, the Mets weren't interested in minor salary relief or a marginal prospect.
  • Boston wasn’t the only interested team, by the way. The Braves talked to the Mets about acquiring Hairston as a bench bat, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter).
  • Jack Curry of the YES Network hears that the Yankees wanted a shoulder MRI for Ubaldo Jimenez, but the Rockies declined (Twitter link).



Trade Reaction: Ubaldo, Rangers, Furcal, Mariners

We've seen dozens of deals completed this month. To help you make sense of it all, here are some reactions to the moves from around MLB...



Epstein On Bedard, Harden, Fields, Buchholz

Red Sox GM Theo Epstein acquired Mike Aviles, Erik Bedard and Josh Fields in trades this weekend. He joined reporters on a conference call to discuss those moves and other issues pertaining to his first-place team this evening. Here are the details:

  • The Red Sox like the way Bedard's stuff looks this year. He "really started to look like one of the best left-handers in the league again," Epstein said.
  • Though Bedard was rusty in his lone start since returning from the disabled list, the Red Sox maintained interest in him since he seems healthy and has pitched in the AL East. Plus, he met Boston's biggest need - rotation help.
  • The Bedard deal came together at the last minute, since the Red Sox had to acquire Trayvon Robinson from the Dodgers before completing the deal with the Mariners.
  • As for the bullpen, Epstein says the Red Sox can get by without adding outside help. "We feel we have some depth, not only in the big leagues, but in Triple-A," he said.
  • Epstein declined to speak about discussions for Rich Harden, but says he has no hard feelings. It appeared last night that Boston was going to acquire Harden.
  • The Red Sox like Fields' "big arm" despite his command issues.
  • Though Epstein didn't discuss Clay Buchholz's injury in detail, he acknowledged concern over the right-hander's health.



Red Sox Acquire Erik Bedard In Three-Team Deal

Bedard

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:

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.

Jon Heyman, Gordon Edes, and Jon Heyman broke the story with ESPN.com's Buster Olney reporting the specifics of the trade. Photo courtesy Icon SMI.









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