Kotchman in fold, is Bedard coming back?

Six down, none to go — and maybe somebody coming back.

Those are the headlines today out here in blogo-land. First baseman Casey Kotchman reached agreeement on a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the team, avoiding an arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for this month. The exact date of the hearing was never disclosed by either side, which is normal practice in these things. But color it moot now.

That means all six players eligile for salary arbitration signed without a cantankerous hearing.

Settlements began on Jan. 8 when center fielder Franklin Gutierrez signed a four-year, $20.5 million contract extension. Right-handed relievers David Aardsma and Mark Lowe came to terms on Jan. 19 for $2.75 million, and $1.15 million respectively; and, on the following day, ace right-hander Felix Hernandez signed a five-year, $78 million contract extension. Of lesser note that same day, right-handed reliever Brandon League agreed to a one-year, $1.0875 million contract.

The next order of business might be, surprise, surprise, re-signing left-hander Erik Bedard.

Yep, there are rumblings in blogo-land 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 late 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.

Anyway, stay tuned on that one.

– Jim Street

4 Comments

Please please please let the bloggers be wrong. Yes, Bedard can be good when he’s healthy, but even then he’s not great. He averaged almost 18 pitches per inning during his stint with the M’s, and he basically refuses to throw more than 100 pitches in a game. That mean’s he’s a 5-6 inning pitcher when he’s at his best, and he hasn’t been that since he came over. On top of that, it’s obvious that this guy just doesn’t fare well under pressure and probably isn’t a great clubhouse contributor as far as personality goes. I’m sure there are those higher up in the front office who would like to see some return on that ridiculous trade, but Bedard is a sunk cost at this point. We’re not getting Jones, Tillman and the rest back, and we won’t get their worth out of Bedard in 3 months of action. I’d rather jack up the payroll by a couple of million dollars and bring in Pedro Martinez than bring back Bedard. Pedro is a first-ballot HOF’er, is a bulldog on the mound, and isn’t afraid to pitch inside and own that part of the plate. If you add him to the 1-2 punch of Felix and Cliff Lee, you’ve got a rotation that can help execute the run prevention strategy that Jack Z is employing. And in a short playoff series, that threesome would be hard to beat up on. Just say no to Erik Be-dud and Vote for Pedro!

Wow Zoinks, are you delusional? Not great? If the price is right, Bedard would be a huge upgrade over 8 out of 10 starters on this team. Pedro? Serious? Why don’t we see if David Wells will come out of retirement. 1/2 season of Bedard > full season of Pedro.

Pedro was throwing batting practice up there in the World Series last year. His fastball was making Jamie Moyer laugh. There’s no way I’d sign him to Seattle.

Bedard, “when healthy”, is a real good pitcher. He has his flaws but when he’s on the mound, I feel pretty confident. If he signs for a cheap base salary, he doesn’t even need to do much to be of value. As long as he could give us 100 innings, he’d probably be worth it. And if he’s somehow healthy when the playoffs come around, that is one hella nice group of top 3 starters.

Noah Lowry ? The M’s were to watch Lowry pitch on Tuesday. Has anyone heard how that session went? What other teams are looking at him and what are the chances that we might pick him up?
KenC

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