Mariners Insider

Bedard on Mariners: ‘I’d love to be back!’

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Feb. 4, 2010 at 10:25 am with 31 Comments »
February 4, 2010 10:25 am

Watching from the frozen tundra of Ontario, Canada – where it was 16 degrees below zero this morning – Erik Bedard has been throwing a baseball for three weeks – and monitoring the Seattle Mariners all winter.

Erik Bedard

“They’ ve done a phenomenal job this off-season,” Bedard said. “Getting Cliff Lee? Man, with Felix (Hernandez) and Lee at the top of the rotation, how are you ever going to lose?”

And would Bedard like to be right behind them in the Seattle rotation?

“I’d love it – put me down as No. 3B, because Ryan (Rowland-Smith) could be No. 3, he’s ready,” Bedard said. “I’d love to be back in Seattle.”

The team has talked to Bedard about a return, but there’s no offer in hand just yet. And other teams have called, too.

“When you’re a free agent, teams call,” Bedard said. “Mostly, it’s just talk – they want to know where I am, how I’m doing. No one’s made a concrete offer.”

On schedule following shoulder surgery last August, Bedard thinks he’ll be pitching some time in May.

“I don’t want to make that firm, it could be a few weeks later, and if I say May and it’s June 1, I don’t want people thinking there’s been a setback,” Bedard said.

What would it be like to have a rotation down the stretch in 2010 that included Hernandez, Lee and Bedard?

“You wouldn’t start with many two-game losing streaks,” Bedard said, laughing.  “I’d say the pressure would be off the No. 3 starter with those two guys ahead of him. You’re talking two aces.”

Just how the Mariners feel about it will have to wait a day or two to determine – general manager Jack Zduriencik and most of his staff are in the Dominican Republic this week, making decisions on a baseball complex Seattle may build.

Clearly, however, the two sides have talked – and Bedard is both interested and optimistic about a return.

Leave a comment Comments → 31
  1. wabubba67 says:

    “Put me down as 3B”…wtf? Does this guy have any pride or competitive streak at all? I don’t think that we could ever rely on Bedard to handle a pressure packed (ie. playoff game start) situation.

    All great athletes have an oversized ego and competitive streak…the fact that he is willing to just submit to essentially being the #4 pitcher on a staff strikes at the main question about Bedard. Is he now, or will he ever be, mentally tough enough?

  2. ZoinksScoob says:

    I agree with wabubba67. Even if he’s just hedging his bets about being ready, he should be saying things like, “when I’m healthy, Ill be able to compete with Felix and Lee for the #1 spot.” 3B??? That’s like saying “I could be the utility infielder” or “I’m ready to pinch hit when they need me.” It doesn’t give you the greatest confidence that he’s either healthy enough or willing enough to be the bulldog they really need in the #3 spot in the rotation, either now or later in the season.

    If I’m the M’s, I don’t waste the money on Bedard. Even when he was healthy, he was throwing 18 pitches per inning; that’s WAY too many. He’s a 5-6 inning pitcher at best when he’s healthy. If he’s coming off of arm problems, they’re certainly not going to push him too hard (especially with his self-imposed limit of 100-105 pitches.) We don’t need a bullpen killer.

    If Jarrod Washburn’s knee is healthy, go out and get him back. He and Rick Adair worked really well together last year before he was traded. He wants the ball in big games, and can go 7+ innings when you need him to.

    The other alternative: Pedro Martinez. He’s a sure-fire first ballot HOFer, and he’s definitely got something left in the tank. He faded at the end in the World Series, but he never had a full spring training or build-up period. If you sign him now, you can get him up to speed for the season, and occasionally skip a start or two for him over the course of the year to keep him fresher for the pennant run. He probably does have a limited number of bullets in his gun, but he’s got the guts of a burglar on the mound, and he’s NOT afraid to pitch inside and own that part of the plate, something our other pitchers could stand to do more of.

  3. He’s simply being humble. In 2007 with Baltimore, his last healthy season, he repeatedly shut down the big offenses in the AL East. He can handle pressure just fine.

  4. I agree with rudolf. To say that in order to be a good competitor, an athlete needs to be the type of person who brags to a newspaper about how much better he is than his teammates is just moronic.

    Bedard is a class act and a great pitcher. I’d love to see him back with the Mariners.

  5. Pat_riot says:

    Who cares where he thinks he would belong in the rotation.. I’d take Bedard back in a heartbeat, that 1-2-3 combo would be devastating!! … .even though bedard will only throw 100 pitches or 6 innings.. whichever comes first. I’m not all up on contract numbers or what he’d expect or anything.. but given his past performance (of not being able to go deep in games) and his injury that he’s recovering from.. I’d think he’d be able to be had at a value price.

    Do it.

  6. I agree with rudolf. There are many players that are the sixth man coming off the bench or the #2 guy (Scottie Pippen) that are impact players. Some players are just built differently, but they still help there teams win championships. Bedard would be more comfortable, and therefore more likely to play well, with less pressure on him. Sign him if he is healthy.

  7. footballscaa says:

    He seems just raring to get back to pitching huh? “Maybe May, maybe June” maybe, maybe. Even if he gets healthy what does a team get from him? Maybe, 5 innings. Maybe. He’s not healthy now, he won’t be heathy in October when we need him either. Have M’s fans just decided to go Bavasi? We need this guy. Pay him. We need that guy, pay him. We need Washburn. We need Pedro. What next? Fister will throw more strikes than Bedard this year, just because he’s playing. We don’t need Bedard lighting up the M’s DL again. He’s humble, he’s a class act, he’ll be comfortable. Make the excuses now, because if the M’s sign him, you’ll be making the same excuses in October. But then again the stat-O-matic, historically astute, James loving and paragraphing M’s fans who KNOW baseball, will have another take on this I’m sure.

  8. wabubba67 says:

    “In 2007 with Baltimore” = the epitomy of a non-pressure environment.

  9. stevenrey says:

    I think realistically Hernandez and Lee need to be around 17 or 18 wins. That means the rest of the rotation needs to have 10 or 11 wins and each of the bullpen pitchers need to average about 3 wins to get to 90 wins overall. That’s the general mark you shoot for to get in the playoffs. Bedard might be too late at the dance to do his share. Still, if he’d sign for an incentives type contract, he might not be a bad risk.

  10. wabubba67 says:

    Oops…meant epitome, not epitomy.

  11. ABP52380 says:

    I agree that Bedard was just being humble. He knows the caliber of Lee and King, and knows RRS had what may have been a breakout season. It’s called humility – you don’t come off two injury prone seasons in which you started only a limited amount of games (after the acquiring team gave up a boat-load to get you) and then say you want to come back and be the ace above two Cy young pitchers. His response was fine.

    That said, Daaaamn. If you can sign him to a low base/incentive induced contract and stack him behind King and Lee – with a healthy Bedard (**in astericks) thats arguably the best 1-2-3 in baseball. Don’t forget, in 07 (when he was healthy) he too was in that upper echelon of talent with even a hint of cy young candidacy.

    I like it. Sign him up. Lock it down. Pedro is too damn old (amazing in his prime) and Bedard would be a much better signing IMO. Washburn, well, if Bedard doesn’t happen, i think we need to consider that.

  12. WTraveler says:

    What Bedard was really saying was that we have 2 aces and RRS is a great 3. Nothing wrong with that. He is opening the door for something less then he experienced in Baltimore as the ace and in Seattle when he started out to be the ace. No one questioned Jr.’s pride when he said he would be willing to come back at less playing time this year.
    The Duse is coming off surgery and other injuries. Why expect him to sound like another Housh?

  13. I think the same people complaining about Bedard’s competitiveness or ego, would have the same complaint if he said he was ready to be #1. Arguing as to what has he proved to make such a claim. One of the great strengths of the M’s and contributing to their turnaround has been the great clubhouse atmosphere and complete team approach. With the glaring exception of Milton Bradley (and we all hope he becomes Mr. Happy here also) all the additions to this years team show themselves to be great team guys. All of Bedard’s comments echoed that from his own mouth and desire. That said, a healthy Bedard is as solid a pitcher as you could get. His numbers have proved that, again WHEN HEALTHY. At this point Bedard does not have to be “politically correct” in saying he wants to return to the M’s. I believe he does. No team will sign him to anything but an incentive laden contract. Given his desire, that would put the M’s in likely the best position to sign him. That is IF Mr. Z sees fit to do it. I would love to see it.

  14. wabubba67 says:

    I would love it if Bedard ever said that he was ready to be a #1 pitcher! Instead he has complained in the past about the pressure of being named the opening night pitcher in 2008, and has sought quick exits out of games by usually the 5th inning.

    Make no mistake, he is WILDLY physically talented…I just question what is going on between his ears.

    I would have loved it if he would have said something along the lines of, “If I sign with the Mariners we would have three aces in our rotation.” Instead he is the self-described #3B pitcher.

    Can we get him a new uniform number this year? At the very least, I think we just found a new nickname. Tinman would work, too!

  15. el_gato_furioso says:

    wabubba67 – “Put me down as 3B”…wtf? Does this guy have any pride or competitive streak at all? I don’t think that we could ever rely on Bedard to handle a pressure packed (ie. playoff game start) situation.

    Oh, I see what’s happened. Bedard wasn’t speaking Meathead. Yeah, there’s always a communication gaffe when players don’t speak Meathead.

    One can only wish that with Bedard’s recovery comes a new found respect for bravado and cliche!

  16. for all the erik bedard bashers give me a break already. the complaints that he went 5 or 6 innings is total crap now that he had labrum surgery. the guy pitched throught legitmate pain and did his best to pitch through it. think about it he pitched with a bum shoulder last year and still he had an era of below 3 and struck out more than 10 per 9 innings. if he is healthy think about what he is capable of. 2007 he got hurt late in the year but still pitched 180 innings plus in 28 games. thats almost 7 innings per outing. maybe the shoulder problems were the contributing factor for the 18 pitches per inning….i say sign him. even if he pitches for half the year its a good risk reward situation..

  17. wabubba67 says:

    Wow…in his best year he “almost” made it to the 7th inning. I’m inspired.

  18. Bedard’s a tough call. He won’t be ready to start the season, and nobody knows if he’s healthy.

    If Jackie Z has to choose, I’d go with Washburn. When he’s right Bedard may be better, but who knows when or if he will be right. Washburn will give you seven and the M’s need an innings sponge if they’re only carrying six in the bullpen.

    If Jackie Z’s thinking about Washburn and Bedard, well now, that’s something different. Not impossible. Very little exposure on the Byrnes and Garko deals, maybe he’s got the cash.

    K

  19. griffincsb says:

    I got a question for those who know more than me… say we sign Bedard. Does he take up a roster spot until he is ready, or does he sit on the DL till then, enabling a roster spot for someone else until then?

    At first I liked the deal, I still do, but it is definitely a tough one. It’s the perfect example of a HIGH RISK but possibly HIGH REWARD move. I can only imagine what Z is weighing and the decision being on his shoulders.

  20. oldcenturian says:

    It’s all very simple, really…Trust the Z-man, and it’ll work out just fine.

  21. SharkHawk says:

    Bedard is being wise. He’s had nothing to say or just very little for years. I am sure his agent is telling him to get out there and market himself.

    He has always made it known that the Mariners wanted him as a #1 and he didn’t consider himself one. So he’s just being honest and forthcoming with the media for once. Not a bad idea considering….. and I think he probably looks back and sees that he really let the team and the fans down, and the team that knows him best at this point and will pay him best is probably Seattle. There is also very little pressure. In Balto they’d want him to come in and immediately be their #1 again. Anywhere else he goes they are probably pitching starved too. Seattle is the one team right now that has two obvious aces. So yeah…. the pressure is off. The guy is coming off of two surgeries. I’m assuming he has friends in the organization and with the team. So good for him for making a positive statement and being open to a return and seemingly being really cool and “teammate-ish” about it. It’s a welcome change and could spell a nice new chapter in his career.

    A couple of years ago he had the stuff to be a complete horse’s ass like Randy Johnson did. Now he doesn’t so a good dose of humility is needed and welcome. Good luck to Erik wherever he winds up. I’d prefer Wash at this point because he eats innings, but Bedard is a high reward low risk at this point.

  22. joe_simpson_can_hit says:

    I got a feeling this was planned all along. The M’s current rotation is weak on the back end but we’re set up pretty well depth-wise to make it until Bedard can pitch. And man, if he can pitch, I sure like our 1-2-3. He sounds good in this article. People need to cut him some slack. The dude’s labrum was torn.

  23. Yahoo is reporting it’s a likely signing at 1.5 mil. I’m 100% in favor at that price!

  24. dave8557 says:

    M’s have nothing to lose in signing Bedard for small money and putting incentives in the contract. So what if he’s only 5 to 6 inning pitcher? Felix is only 6 or 7 inning pitcher. Cliff Lee will only be a 6 or 7 inning pitcher under Wak man and company. He’s a quality pitcher when he’s in there.

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