Monday, February 4, 2008

Item #2: Deal or No Deal? The Erik Bedard Saga

Bedard to the Bedard and Orioles talking extension....wait, Bedard to the Mariners...never mind, Adam Jones has a degenerative hip condition...Adam Jones is fine...Bedard to the Mariners...again.

Howie Mandel should have been a guest host for ESPN for the past few weeks. I could just see him interviewing Andy McPhail while Dana Jacobson held a giant briefcase with Adam Jones in it while she shouted obscenities about Notre Dame. After a lot of speculation, it appears Bedard will in fact be donning a Mariners' jersey in 2008. So one left handed ace departs the American League all together, and another one takes up residency in the Rangers' division. You can't win them all.

The proposed deal would send uber-prospect Adam Jones to the O's along with reliever Goerge Sherrill and 3 other pitching
prospects. Some would argue this deal is a better return than the Twins got for Santana based solely on Jones. He is a big time outfield prospect with plus defense and definite power potential. Sherrill is a capable left handed bullpen arm, while the 3 other prospects will need more seasoning in the minor leagues. Seattle will be able to complete the deal without surrendering Brandon Morrow or Catcher Jeff Clement, two of the Mariners other top young players.

The deal will allow the Mariners to pair Bedard with "King" Felix Hernandez at the top of their rotation. The two strikeout pitchers give the M's a formidable 1-2 punch with Carlos Silva (overpaid, overweight guy), Jarrod Washburn, and Miguel Batista rounding out the rotation. There is some risk involved for the Mariners as Bedard has struggled to complete a full season and has never pitched 200 innings. Bedard is, however, one of the top pitchers in the game and will make a big impact on the AL West in 2008 and beyond.

The Chicago Cubs lost out on Bedard to a team that just flat out has superior prospects at the positions the Orioles desired. The Rangers expressed interest in Bedard right out of the gate but were told they didn't have the necessary pieces. The Orioles were presumably dead set on a top flight outfield prospect near the major league level. The Rangers just don't have that in place with Beltre, Borbon, and Boggs a year or more away. Josh Hamilton might have intrigued the Orioles but it likely would have cost one of Eric Hurley, Matt Harrison, or Kasey Kiker along with a bullpen arm and other prospects. The cost seemingly would have exceeded the value for a Rangers team that is undergoing a rebuilding process.

In other Mariners' news, they have reached an agreement with the one and only Brad Wilkerson. So while the arrival of Bedard will likely result in some strikeouts for Rangers' hitters, at least Rangers' pitchers can pocket a few K's with Wilkerson in the fold for the Mariners.

howie mandel photo courtesy of
george sherrill, adam jones photos courtesy of
erik bedard photo courtesy of