Tag: Erik Bedard

MLB Trade Rumors: Updating All the Hottest Waiver-Trade Buzz

As of Aug. 16, 15 major league teams either hold a playoff spot or are within 8.5 games of one and could be looking to improve their playoff chances by making a waiver-wire deal in the near future.

Four trades have happened thus far.

The Rangers acquired outfielder Alex Rios from the White Sox for prospect Leury Garcia. The Royals picked up utility infielder Jamey Carroll from Minnesota and utilityman Emilio Bonifacio from Toronto, both for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Rays, meanwhile, acquired lefty Wesley Wright from the Astros for cash considerations. 

With plenty of trade possibilities still lingering, here’s all the latest waiver-trade buzz from around the league.


Dan Haren Clears Waivers Amid Return to Top Form

After it was reported that Nationals right-hander Dan Haren was placed on waivers last week, I wrote that he had a good chance of clearing because of his salary and early-season struggles. Still, he could draw interest because of how well he had been pitching of late.

A week later, the 32-year-old has officially cleared waivers. He has made two more terrific starts, giving him a 2.30 ERA with only 29 hits allowed, 10 walks and 42 strikeouts in his last 43 innings since returning from the disabled list (seven starts). Haren was on the verge of being released before he turned things around. 

The 59-61 Nationals don’t have a ton of starting pitching depth to fill Haren’s spot. That said, I’m certain they’d fill the gap with whatever journeyman they can find off the Triple-A scrap heap if a team is willing to eat Haren’s remaining salary (approximately $3.25 million) and offer up a midlevel prospect. 

For a team like the Dodgers, who could use an upgrade at the back of the rotation after Chris Capuano got knocked around in his last two starts, or the Indians, who are just 3.5 games out of a playoff spot, Haren could be a nice pickup down the stretch.

A reunion with the Oakland A’s, who he played with from 2005-2007, could also make sense. 


Who Needs Justin Morneau? 

As expected, Twins first baseman and former AL MVP Justin Morneau (pictured) has cleared waivers. Now the Twins will try to find the best deal for the 32-year-old and decide if it’s worth trading him away unceremoniously after 11 mostly very good seasons with the team.

If his August numbers are any indication, the acquiring team would be getting Morneau at just the right time. He is 18-for-66 with six homers, four doubles and 15 RBI this month. He had a .712 OPS with eight homers in 98 games prior to this current hot streak.

The Rays could be interested in acquiring another bat, but Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweeted that a right-handed hitter such as Paul Konerko, who was placed on waivers a few days ago, or Delmon Young, who became a free agent recently, would make more sense. 

A team that could be the best match is Baltimore, which has been going with rookie Henry Urrutia (.612 OPS, 0 BB, 9 K in 21 games) at the designated hitter spot. Wilson Betemit, who is due back soon from the disabled list, will likely take over for Urrutia, but a red-hot Morneau down the stretch might be preferred. 

Of the National League contenders, the Pirates could move Garrett Jones to right field if newly promoted rookie Andrew Lambo doesn’t produce right away, opening up first base for Morneau. Lambo, who had 31 homers between Double-A and Triple-A, is 1-for-8 with a double since his call-up.


Astros Could Deal Lone Veteran Remaining

The Astros have one player left on their roster making at least $1 million this season, and there’s a good chance that the number becomes zero before the end of the month. Lefty Erik Bedard (pictured), who signed a one-year, $1.15 million deal this past offseason, has pitched well enough to draw some trade interest. 

In the same tweet mentioning that Haren passed through waivers unclaimed, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the 34-year-old Bedard had also cleared. Prior to a rough outing on Thursday, Bedard had a 3.56 ERA with 42 walks and 82 strikeouts in his last 93.2 innings pitched. 

The Rangers, who could be without Alexi Ogando if he’s forced to miss time with an inflamed nerve in his shoulder, could be interested in Bedard. They’ve already completed one deal with Houston this month, acquiring non-roster lefty Travis Blackley for cash considerations.

Since the start of the season, the Astros have traded away three of four players making a seven-figure salary in 2013.

Bud Norris ($3 million) was traded to Baltimore, Jose Veras ($1.85 million) was dealt to Detroit and Wesley Wright ($1 million) went to Tampa Bay. Catcher Jason Castro, who will be arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason, is currently projected to be the team’s highest-paid player in 2014.


Braves Seek Second Base Help 

With Dan Uggla out at least another 12 days recovering from LASIK eye surgery and Tyler Pastornicky out for the season with a torn knee ligament, Mark Bowman of MLB.com is reporting that the Braves are searching the waiver wire for some second base help. 

The potential list of options has thinned out greatly over the past couple of weeks, however.

The Royals recently acquired two backup types, Jamey Carroll and Emilio Bonifacio, who could play second base. Chase Utley agreed to a contract extension with the Phillies. Rickie Weeks, meanwhile, suffered a season-ending hamstring injury.

If it’s just temporary help they’re seeking, there are a few options readily available that could be an upgrade over Paul Janish and Phil Gosselin.

One intriguing match could be Brendan Ryan (pictured) of the Mariners, who has already cleared waivers. He would allow the Braves to put two of the best defensive shortstops in baseball on the field at the same time. Andrelton Simmons is already considered by many to be the top defender in baseball. Ryan has also been a popular choice in recent years.

The 31-year-old Ryan hasn’t played second base since 2009, though, and he hasn’t hit at all this season. It might not be worth the trouble to acquire him unless they believe he’s an upgrade over Janish as the starter now and as Uggla’s backup when he returns. 

They have such a big lead in the division that acquiring temporary help is nearly pointless otherwise. 


Elvis Andrus Clearing Waivers Is Not Big News 

Teams don’t have to place a player on waivers, so it’s probably worth mentioning whenever any player is. But in most cases, they like to keep their options open just in case a team approaches them with an offer they can’t refuse. 

So when a big name like Elvis Andrus (pictured) passes through waivers, we shouldn’t completely write it off as totally irrelevant. But it’s pretty close.

It’s doubtful that the 24-year-old, who already has two All-Star selections on his resume, is going anywhere. The fact that his contract will pay him either $14 million or $15 million per season from 2015-2022, combined with his poor season at the plate, ensured he wasn’t getting claimed.

The Rangers do employ the top prospect in baseball, shortstop Jurickson Profar, who is already in the majors and could probably give the team more offense than Andrus right now. But even if they wanted to trade Andrus, and they had teams interested in acquiring him and his contract, they’d be selling low on a very talented player whom they expected big things from now and in the future. 


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Erik Bedard’s No-Hit Bid Ends After Being Relieved in 7th Inning vs. Mariners

Houston Astros pitcher Erik Bedard had a no-hitter going in Saturday evening’s game against the Seattle Mariners, but with one out in the seventh inning, manager Bo Porter decided to relieve him of his duties.


UPDATE: Saturday, July 20, at 10:17 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

The Astros lost to the Mariners 4-2, giving up one run and one hit from the bullpen after Bedard was pulled from the game.

—End of update—


It would have been a unique no-hitter had Bedard been able to maintain it. Seattle knotted the game at 2-2 in the Astros’ Minute Maid Park thanks to two unearned runs plated in the sixth.

The numbers got even more bizarre upon Bedard’s exit.

Even though Bedard got Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager to pop out at the top of the inning, he walked his fifth batter of the game thereafter. The switch was then made to reliever Jose Cisnero.

The team’s Twitter page noted that Bedard had registered a relatively high pitch count of 109 when he was pulled:

In the pitcher’s defense, a big reason he threw so much was due to some of the brilliance he was flashing. The southpaw struck out 10 batters and pitched his way out of some difficult spots.

As if things couldn’t get much worse for Houston—which sported the worst record in Major League Baseball at 33-62 entering the game—Cisnero was lit up for a two-run double by Michael Saunders, per Greg Johns of MLB.com:

Johns points out that Bedard was charged for the third run, which is earned, since he walked the eventual go-ahead run yielded by Cisnero:

Porter’s decision backfired, and the opportunity for a no-no went out the window for Bedard. While he and Houston wonder what could have been, Bedard ended up tagged with the team’s latest loss.

Nevertheless, Bedard’s game was certainly historic, which ESPN Stats & Info contextualized nicely:

He had lost his previous three decisions and was 3-6 in 2013 with a 4.61 ERA before Saturday’s extraordinary effort.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Dominant Would-Be Relievers Being Wasted in MLB Rotations

A team paying a pitcher $5 million for 180-200 innings gets more value for their money than one paying the same amount for 70 innings. So it stands to reason that so many teams are insisting pitchers stay in the rotation as long as their performance is tenable.

Unfortunately, this means many teams miss out on potential dominance from those pitchers over shorter stretches. For some, this is due to the restraint needed to stretch one’s effectiveness out over 100 pitches. While they may be dominant giving 100 percent, they can only give 80 percent to last that long.

For others, they have only two effective pitches, which is enough for one or two innings, but starters usually need three to turn over a lineup twice. These pitchers would be much better off used in the ‘pen, but of course, the value of raw innings pitched will keep them slaving away in the rotation.

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Boston Red Sox: A Look at 6 Players out of Boston Since Last Season’s Collapse

After a disastrous September, Boston missed the postseason for the second straight season. We saw a major upheaval of the organization and the roster.

Theo Epstein and Terry Francona left.

Ben Cherington and Bobby Valentine are here.

The front office made several moves during the offseason to try and revamp the team with hopes of making a postseason run in 2012. This included letting players walk during free agency as well as trading players to try and give the team a new feel.

Here are six players that didn’t return to Boston after their epic collapse last season and have made strides to help their new teams.

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Seattle Mariners: Should Felix Hernandez or Another Starter Be Traded?

Even after extending Felix Hernandez, the Mariners were faced with speculation that they’d trade their ace at the beginning of 2011. In the past couple days there has been a ton of speculation in the media about the team trading Erik Bedard, Jason Vargas or Doug Fister.

The Mariners should trade one of these guys, if the package they get in return is right.

There are a ton of components that go into a decision to trade a starting pitcher, not the least of which is that starter’s talent. We talk a lot about years of team control, which is certainly important, but are years of team control as valuable for a pitcher, presumed to be a back-of-the-rotation starter, as perhaps a mid-to-upper-rotation starter?

Certainly not.

And in Bedard, Vargas and Fister, the team has guys who can easily be perceived by some teams as fits in any of their rotations slots.

Fister is a prime example of where years of team control hold less value. Fister is a guy who has ridden a low HR/FB ratio and lackluster peripherals to solid results. On talent alone, Fister is a pretty generic option in trade. He’s a poor man’s Kevin Millwood or Livan Hernandez. Sure, if a team traded for him, they’d have him under team control for four more years after 2012, but he’s a huge regression candidate, especially in a different home ballpark (4.16 FIP career on the road, compared to 3.81 at Safeco).

Even in Safeco, the chances of Fister’s high wire act continuing is pretty slim and could be pushed out of the rotation by present farmhands in the next couple years. If the Mariners can get something of greater value for Fister, they should jump at the opportunity. I’d look for someone like Seth Smith from Colorado or Drew Sutton from Boston.

The other two pitchers, Bedard and Vargas, probably haven’t reached the potential peak of their value yet. If either of them (or both!) keep pitching the way they are right now, a Cliff Lee-like package isn’t completely out of the question.

Bedard is probably the more talented pitcher. He has a viable breaking ball and a better fastball. His problems, obviously, center on his health. This may lead the team, or fans, to want to trade Bedard as soon as possible, since he’s a high injury risk, and an injury would destroy his value. However, because they’ve bought so low on the new version of Bedard, he seems like a solid value to keep around until at least the beginning of July. If he gets hurt the sunk costs are minimal, and if he’s healthy, his value is likely to be at its peak by then.

Besides health, Bedard’s limiting factor is his pending free agency. After missing all of last year, it’s unlikely that Bedard is a Type A or B free agent after this season, and there is no guarantee that he remains the kind of bargain he has been for the Mariners so far this season (obviously not in the past).

Vargas is perhaps the most volatile. Just two days ago I proposed that the Mariners should either attempt to extend Vargas now, or this upcoming offseason, or never.

Just like the Mariners are at a critical point for Vargas’ future with the team, they may be at a critical point for his future with another team. It makes sense for the team to explore a trade for him, but having a low-cost, under-30, effective pitcher in the rotation, makes a hell of a lot of sense too.

There isn’t a ton of precedent for trading a guy with two years of team control, who is recently effective after a career full of struggles. Maybe the best comparable is Bronson Arroyo, who after two solid-ish years in Boston, was traded to Cincinnati for Wily Mo Pena about two weeks before the 2006 season. Pena’s name may not inspire excitement, but he was a top hitting prospect, which is a pretty big return for a guy of that type.

Arroyo was a well-known member of the 2004 World Series champion Red Sox, an intangible asset (undoubtedly an overvalued one) that Vargas doesn’t have. However, Vargas has posted better season prior to that.

The Mariners should trade one of these guys if it can improve the offense. But, they shouldn’t trade Bedard or Vargas for anything but top prospects. While the market for starting pitchers is developing, it certainly isn’t fully developed, and the Mariners should wait to trade either of the latter, or they’ll be getting less than full value for the pitchers.


North and South of Royal Brougham offers articles like this, as well as articles about things like:


Michael Pineda’s need for a nickname

The Seattle Sounders

The Seattle Seahawks Quarterback situation

Gary Payton’s Love for Seattle

and last but not least

Nate Robinson’s tweets, and how Seattle fans should receive them

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Ichiro, Mariners Rally but Fall Short to Royals 6-5

If only the Seattle Mariners offense could actually show up before they found themselves hopelessly behind—such has been the underlying theme of the Mariners’ 2011 campaign. And Friday night was a microcosm of that very issue, too little too late.

Against the Kansas City Royals, the Mariners offense floundered for the first seven innings, registering just one lone hit. Three up, three down was the story for the offense through innings three through seven, as Royals starter Luke Hochevar dominated the hapless hitters.

After 100 pitches in seven innings, Hochevar was finally done for the night and the M’s immediately took advantage in the eighth inning. Off reliever Blake Wood, Ichiro singled in Luis Rodriguez to cut the lead to 6-2.

Then, in the ninth inning off closer Joakim Soria, the M’s were able to get four walks and a Michael Saunders RBI single to narrow the lead to 6-4. With the bases juiced with one out and Ichiro, the team’s strongest hitter at the plate, suddenly things were looking hopeful for the M’s.

But like they’ve done all season, the offense failed to capitalize with runners in scoring position. Ichiro did manage a weak ground-out to score another run, but Chone Figgins lined out hard to end the rally and the game.

Granted, Soria’s pitches were all over the place and offered the offense several opportunities they wouldn’t have normally gotten. But regardless, the game tonight reaffirmed a lot of things about this team for me.

Off to a slow start, things have been tough for the offense to get in a groove. The Mariners are mired in a slump, and it’s no new concept that good teams tend to get lucky. Look no further than Figgins’ stinging line drive with the game on the line in the ninth…straight to the third baseman.

Of course, the blame rests equally on the oft-injured shoulders of Erik Bedard. For the third straight outing, Bedard failed to pitch more than five innings. Falling to 0-3 with an 8.56 ERA on the season, it’s clear that Bedard has been the weak chain in the link that is the M’s starting rotation.

Bedard was able to get out of  a couple jams, but gave up too many runs to keep the M’s in the game. The team can’t afford to keep trotting Bedard out on the mound every fifth day expecting a taxing game for the bullpen and a probable loss (combining a poor offense and mediocre pitching and that’s what you get).

Falling to 4-10 two weeks into the season, the M’s face serious questions with almost every facet of their team.

To make sure this doesn’t just become a rant, and to give credit where credit is due, it’s important that we highlight the successes of first baseman Justin Smoak. Pinch hitting for Brendan Ryan in the ninth, Smoak worked a seven pitch walk to force in a run. Smoak has hit .273 on the season, good for second on the team, and has walked as many times as he has struck out (nine times).

King Felix will try to stop the bleeding Saturday afternoon (10:10 AM PT) against Sean Sullivan, who has an 11.25 ERA in two appearances this season. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Erik Bedard: 2011 MLB Fantasy Baseball Sleeper Alert

One key to winning a fantasy baseball league is finding value in the latter stages of the draft, especially starting pitchers who can provide help with wins and strikeouts without hurting a team’s overall ERA. Late-round value picks who pan out can also be excellent trade bait to help bolster other weak areas of a fantasy roster.  

After spending all of 2010 on the disabled list, Erik Bedard returns to the Mariners rotation this spring after making only 30 starts for the club since being acquired in 2007. Bedard joins a rotation of young arms led by defending AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernadez, who will again be the team’s ace and opening day starter. 

A Franco-Ontarian, Bedard’s journey to the major leagues can be described as anything but typical. He began his college baseball career by haphazardly accompanying a friend to tryout for the Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut. After making the team as a walk-on, he quickly made a name for himself and became a junior college All-American. 

One of the things that makes Bedard so valuable from a fantasy perspective is his ability to strike batters out. In his seven-year major league career, he amassed an excellent strikeout-per-nine ratio of 9.0, including an impressive 10.9 k/9 average in his best season in the big leagues.  

It goes without saying that Bedard is a huge risk and should not be counted on when building a fantasy roster. However if he can somehow stay healthy this season, he could be a viable low-end starter.  His 3.72 career ERA will not hurt an owner too much and he will help out with strikeouts and wins.  

In two starts this spring, Bedard has pitched three scoreless innings while striking out six batters. His once-famous curveball appears to have regained some of its bite and for the first time in a while he appears to be pain-free. The question is: will he be able to deliver his first full season in a Mariner uniform?

Check out our other sleepers for 2011:

Craig Kimbrel

Jeremy Hellickson

Rick Porcello


This article was originally published on www.kramericasports.com. The home of free fantasy baseball news, rankings and advice.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Seattle Mariners: 10 Bold Predictions for the Team’s 2011 Season

It’s like hitting the big red reset button.

Spring comes and players report to Arizona. Some have new looks with their hair or physical condition. Some spent the winter hibernating while others never stopped to enjoy the downtime.

You never know what you’ll get from your team heading into a new season. Unfortunately, the 2010 Mariners saw that these surprises aren’t always as sweet as the contents of a box of chocolates.

So we turn the page to 2011 and find out what surprises lie ahead. Here are 10 of those that we might (maybe, possibly, could) see.

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Come Back Kids: MLB Players In Need of a Bounceback Season

No one said it was easy to get into the Major Leagues.  No one said it was any easier to stay in the Major Leagues.

But it is possible and you are about to see some of the once highly-touted prospects who have made it to the show.  The only problem is that their careers have not exactly blossomed in the fashion that was expected of them when they were first signed.

Jose Bautista was one such player before he exploded for 54 home runs a season ago.  So with that in mind, here are some players who are in dire need of a career turnaround soon, as their value continues to drop—perhaps to the point of no return.

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Seattle Mariners: Ranking 10 Players Who’ll Have Much-Improved Seasons in 2011

Hey, did you hear? The Mariners were lousy in 2010. Terrible. Awful. Dreadful.

Ah, heck. I’ll just link you so you can see all the synonyms for “bad.”

That poor, poor dead horse.

Much has been ballyhooed about the shortcomings of the most recent episode of Mariners’ baseball. Especially due to the predicted success placed on them entering the season. No one had delusions of an express lane to the division title, but it was widely thought they could duke it out and hang in there in a weak AL West.

A knockout in round one is hardly hanging in there.

So, let’s all agree to officially move on. We’ll start by focusing on the immediate future to see how we can expect some of those let downs to turn around, becoming 2011 success stories.

When your baseline is so low, a relative term like “much” doesn’t seem so far-fetched, right?

However, I believe the improvement from certain players next season will unquestionably be seen as a large step forward.

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