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Rays likely to sign Erik Bedard

Feb 13, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT

Erik Bedard Getty Getty Images

Confirming recent speculation from Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times hears that the Rays are likely to sign veteran left-hander Erik Bedard to a minor league contract.

Bedard made 26 starts with the Astros last season, his most since 2007 with the Orioles. However, while he managed to stay mostly healthy for a change, he posted a 4.59 ERA over 151 innings while averaging 4.5 BB/9. The 34-year-old has averaged just above 89 mph on his fastball over the past two seasons, so his velocity isn’t what it once was.

The Rays will be without right-hander Jeremy Hellickson until May following elbow surgery, so the additional rotation depth can’t hurt. As of now, Jake Odorizzi is considered the favorite to replace Hellickson in the rotation.

  1. raysfan1 - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Okay. Small risk.

    • indaburg - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      No reward? Over last two seasons: ERA+ 75 and 88, WHIP 1.47 and 1.48, FIP 4.07 and 4.38.

      • raysfan1 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:56 PM

        Possibly, but it’s just a minor league deal. Can’t hurt having an extra arm in camp. I’ve got no expectations for him.

      • indaburg - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:46 AM

        My initial reaction was more, “I didn’t realize this guy was still pitching, and aw crap, my team signed him.” In Friedman, I trust.

      • dan1111 - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:02 AM

        You can do a lot worse than an 88 ERA+ for a sixth starter.

      • tuberippin - Feb 14, 2014 at 4:54 AM

        Meh. The Bedard signing is really just Tampa’s way of making up for the loss of innings that were tossed by Fausto Carmona Roberto Hernandez, being that my Phils decided to bring him on board for whatever reason.

      • indaburg - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:33 AM

        A poor man’s Fausto. Hernandez inspired no confidence in me either during his starts. Have your Tums at the helm. Hopefully, Bedard stays in the minors unless he pitches like a shadow of his 2007 self because otherwise, if we need him, things aren’t going well. Our starting 5 currently stands at Price, Cobb, Moore, Archer, and likely Odorizzi until (if and when) Hellickson is ready to return.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    That’s how you close the gap in the division….

    By signing guys that really terribly teams don’t really want anymore.

    Next up: Emilio Bonifacio (3 loser franchises in 2 seasons! Woot!)

    • kruegere - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      Letting Ellsbury and Salty walk, hoping for another career year from Victorino?

      The gap is closed.

    • tuberippin - Feb 14, 2014 at 4:56 AM

      Ellsbury being replaced by a very green Jackie Bradley Jr.

      Saltalamacchia being replaced by a 37-year-old catcher perhaps best known for pissing people off and being part of a very lopsided trade.

    • fomeols - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      Um, he will be going to Baltimore I think, but yes, your point is completely correct.

  3. stex52 - Feb 14, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    Maybe it’s a hopeful sign that other teams are signing Astros’ castoffs. I don’t think so, though.

  4. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Jays miss out on another starter, damn!

    • dan1111 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      Here are a few starters who pitched worse than Bedard last year (picked entirely at random, of course):

      CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, David Phelps

      • pisano - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        Gee, you wouldn’t happen to be a Yankee hater, would you?

      • dan1111 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        @pisano, I do happen to be a Red Sox fan, but I wouldn’t be picking on the Yankees in particular, except that Harry roots for them (have been defending Jeter elsewhere).

  5. pisano - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    dan1111….. I understand, but I do find harry comical, I’ve always wondered why he has such a hard-on for the Jays, but I never had the nerve to ask him,I’m afraid his answer could get ugly.

  6. sdeweese18 - Feb 14, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    Very typical Rays signing; low risk. I’d think they’d use him most effectively as a long man out of the bullpen. As an O’s fan I smile every time I see Erik Bedard’s name. Love me some Jonesy and Tillman

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