Yesterday was a busy day on the transaction wire, as we enter the weekend prior to those winter meetings that get the "who will be traded for whom?" juices flowing.
Among the moves were some funny ones, like Wily Mo Pena and Augie Ojeda, emancipated finally to pursue free agency and the rewards therein. Actually, Ojeda, whose name was one of Cathy's favorites, brings a smile to my face, and should not be confused with the egotistical Mr. Pena, who insisted he come to the majors within a prescribed time frame when he originally signed with the Reds.
Good thing he did that, as based upon the .253-77-225 totals Pena put together, with a .307 OBP (520 whiffs to 106 walks) over 560 games. True, Pena is still just 26, and he could "mature" but at this juncture, he is probably just another lost cause of a player who thought he belonged before showing he does belong.
But, it is about Erik Bedard, signed for a non-guaranteed year by the ever optimistic Mariners, yesterday, who is the foci today.
Now 30, with a resume that makes Rich Harden look like a bastion of health, Bedard is like Harden in that when he pitches (he is pretty good, as his career 51-41, 3.71 totals suggest).
But, Bedard, drafted in the sixth round of the 1999 draft by the Orioles, has been a major leaguer since 2002 and over eight seasons has never tossed 200 innings (196.1 in 2006 remains the benchmark).
Over the last two seasons, Bedard has gone a cumulative 11-7, 2.89 for the Mariners, over 164 innings, and since Seattle gave up a lot (Chris Tillman and Adam Jones, George Sherrill, and two others) to get Bedard, the gamble for 2011 might seem reasonable enough. Although the truth is, the move is more hope based than anything else.
For, if Bedard struggles, that will likely be the end of it.
But, god forbid Bedard has a season like his 196.1 (15-11. 3.76) and I smell a multi-year contract somewhere that will never pay off.
Good for you, Erik, as timing is everything. As for management, drop the rose colored glasses. Or, sign Rich Harden.