Bedard on the path of returning to Seattle

Now that the Mariners have avoided salary arbitration with first baseman Casey Kotchman, signing him to a one year, $3.5 million contract on Wednesday, the next order of business might be — surprise, surprise — re-signing left-hander Erik Bedard.

Yep, there are rumblings going around that Bedard could soon re-up with the Mariners, who are still paying his medical bills. Bedard is expected to miss the first three or four months of the regular season but conceievably could come back in early June or July and provide significant pitching help. When healthy, he has been good. But he’s been hurt more than healthy since being acquired from the Orioles in a trade that still makes me shake my head.

But a new contract with a low base salary and high incentives could be the way to go.

I have now heard that the deal would be a one-year $1.5 million base salary contract that includes a shipload of incentives.  Bedard, you might recall, made $7.5 million last season. At his age — he will be 31 on March 5 — much of his career is in front of him and he could use this season as a springboard to a multi-year contract next year.

And according to my good buddy Kirby Arnold of the Everett Herald, Bedard could soon be on is way to Peoria, Ariz.

According to Kirby, “just last night I spoke with a source familiar with the labrum surgery Bedard had last Aug. 14 on his left (throwing) shoulder. While there have been reports that Bedard may not be pitching again until July, this person believes Bedard’s rehab has gone very well and that a comeback in May is possible.

“Bedard has progressed so well in his throwing program that he’ll be coming to Arizona soon to continue it. One reason is that the place he’s throwing at his home in Canada is only 70 feet long, and he needs to start stretching it out. So Bedard will continue his work in Arizona under the same personal trainer who helped extend Randy Johnson’s career with the Diamondbacks.”

As Sargeant Schultz would say, “Verrrrrry interesting.”

— Jim Street


  1. westside_guy

    I believe you’re thinking of Artie Johnson there in this latest blog post. On Laugh In he’d go “verrrry interesting…. but stupid”.

    Sargeant Shultz is known for “I know nothing….NOTHING!”. He tried to avoid learning anything interesting.

    In any case – if this is true, it’s good news. Although given Bedard’s constitution it might be a tad early to be signing him.

  2. sw_3rd

    That would be great if we could get a healthy Bedard for a hopeful playoff push! One correction though, Bedard will be turning 31 in March.

  3. scmathisen

    I have a suspicion that Bedard will use this year to prove that he is not done. 1.5 mil for a player of his potential is a bargain. Jim is right, he pitched well when he pitched last year. Having him healthy and wanting to prove that he can be again what he was can only be a good thing for the Mariners. Imagine the depth of our rotation with him healthy and eager to prove himself. I believe that could put us over the top in the West!

  4. ashafer

    I’d rather see the M’s sign Bobby Ayala than bring Bedard back. With the budget $12M under ’09, why not offer Damon $10M; Washburn $2M plus incentives. If Milton Bradley has not learned how to play nice, and even hints of being disruptive, move him early for more pitching, even for prospects.

  5. ashafer

    All you Bedard fans, you’re dreaming. He struggled to go 5. At 100 pitches, he’s done. At best, he’s a middle reliever who (maybe) can get you through 7 and 8 to the closer. Hell, Brandon Morrow was a more promising rotation guy than Bedard.

  6. cookandsonbats

    I never thought we’d see Bedard in a Mariners uniform again. But, at $1.5M plus incentives, it could be another excellent move by Jack Z. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t cost the team much. If it does work out, we’ve added another quality starter to the middle of our rotation for the second half of the season. Let’s hope Bedard sets out to proof something to the world and really has a quality season in 2010!


    Its painful to see him struggle with this shoulder throughout 2010, especially after his battle with his elbow in 2003. He has a lot of potential, and those guys who work themselves out of AA-level can always take a good beating.
    -Gerald of Honeywell filters

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