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