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.
“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.