Scouting The Trade Market: Erik Bedard


Early on in the offseason, I declared Erick Bedard one of four players the Yankees shouldn’t even think about signing over the winter. It had nothing to do with Bedard as a pitcher because there’s simply no denying his performance, instead it had everything to do with his health. He had two shoulder surgeries in 2008 and made just 30 starts total from 2008 through 2010, including zero last season. There was every reason to be skeptical this past winter.

Through the first two and a half months of the season, Bedard hasn’t just stayed healthy, he’s stayed healthy and performed well. His 3.80 FIP is almost exactly league average, and he’s striking out 8.36 men per nine innings while walking just 2.96 per nine, the same kind of numbers he put up in his prime. Given the Yankees perpetual need for pitching, it’s worth seeing if Bedard would be a fit in the Bronx…

The Pros

  • When you’re talking about a strikeout heavy lefty, the upside is obvious. Bedard’s strikeout rate has been north of eight per nine for years now, covering both healthy seasons and those impacted by injury.
  • He misses bats with one of the game’s best curveballs, a pitch that drops more than ten vertical inches and sits in the high-70′s. Bedard’s fastball velocity is surprisingly good given the shoulder issue, sitting right around 90 mph with both his two and four-seamer. A changeup and cutter rounds out a solid repertoire, though that last pitch is just a show-me offering.
  • Bedard has a slight platoon split but nothing crazy: righties have a .323 wOBA off him this season, lefties .290. The good news is that Yankee Stadium is tougher on right-handed hitters, and Bedard’s split plays right into that.
  • Not only is Bedard’s salary dirt cheap (just $1M), the extra $6.35M he could earn in incentives is reasonable as well.

The Cons

  • I already talked about the big one, the injuries. One of those two shoulder surgeries repaired a debridement and removed a cyst, the other took care of a torn labrum. Bedard also missed time with a quad strain (2009), hip inflammation (2008), an oblique strain (2007), a knee strain (2005), and Tommy John surgery (2002). All but the quad required a DL stint. That’s some serious stuff.
  • Bedard was a ground ball guy once upon a time, but over the last few years he’s around 42% ground balls. That’s not awful, but it does lead to a lot of homeruns. He’s given up nine in 70 IP this year (1.16 HR/9) and 26 in 234 IP as a Mariner (exactly one per nine). Remember, Safeco Field is not exactly hitter friendly.
  • Bedard has a reputation of being very rude and standoffish when dealing with the media, occasionally blowing them off entirely, something that absolutely won’t fly in New York. He’s also made it no secret that he prefers to play in smaller markets after growing up in the small town of Navan, Ontario (outside of Ottawa).

The wrench here is that the Mariners are actually within striking distance of the AL West crown. They’re just two games back of the Rangers in the loss column and have won 16 of their last 25 games. Justin Smoak has developed into a strong hitter, Dustin Ackley’s promotion is right around the corner, Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda are fronting the rotation … there’s a non-zero chance Seattle hangs around long enough and goes for it rather than sell off parts.

Otherwise, there’s plenty of stuff to like and dislike about Bedard. He’s shown ace caliber performance in the past but his medical file would make Carl Pavano blush. He doesn’t like big cities but he also carved up the AL East when he was with the Orioles. He’s left-handed and matches up well particularly well against the Red Sox but he’s also homer prone. The money cost is low but I can’t imagine the prospect cost will be given his overall performance. I try to just present the facts for discussion purposes and not give a definitive yes or no in these posts, but I’m breaking my own rule and saying “no” to Bedard. That health track record is scary, I’d much prefer a surer thing (if one exists when it comes to pitchers) even if the potential performance isn’t as exciting.

Categories : Trade Deadline
  • Gonzo

    You’re dreaming about gorganzola when it brie time.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa


      • Gonzo

        She’s hot, but it’s from Something about Mary. 7 minute abs!

        • The Guns of the Navarone (a mushroom cloud layin’ mothafucka, mothafucka!)

          Seven little monkies twirlin’ on a branch, eatin’ lots of sunflowers on my uncle’s ranch. You know that old children’s tale… from the sea.

    • B L

      I will trade you Bedard, Jack Wilson and Aardsma for Montero.

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

    Erik Bedard is like the Rafael Soriano of left-handed starters. Injury prone, kind of an ass, pretty damn good when he’s on and healthy.

  • mike

    The Mariners have no reason to trade him unless they are blown away…and we saw last year how poorly they valued the Yankees top prospects, none of which have improved their stock so far this year,

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      Right now they likely wouldn’t trade him, but by the deadline I can see plenty of incentive to move him if they fall out of the race. If he’s healthy on July 31st, selling high on him makes a ton of sense.

    • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

      Wanting Justin Smoak over Jesus Montero does not mean they value the Yankees top prospects poorly.

      • Ted Nelson


      • mike

        It wasnt just Smoak….they apparently liked Adams, and backed off because of injurry concerns as well – plus both Montero and any/all of the B’s which were contemplated arent setting the world on fire, and Sanchez’s value must be dropping a little with the atrtitude issues. Holding back Nunez (as was rumored) was just icing on the cake.

        In all, the system is certtainly weaker than last year, and while Lee would warrant a greater haul, IMO there isnt much sizzle in the Yanks system right now

        • Ted Nelson

          They liked Adams and they liked Nunez… you aren’t helping your case. You’re pretty much proving that you’re wrong.

          “plus both Montero and any/all of the B’s which were contemplated arent setting the world on fire, and Sanchez’s value must be dropping a little with the atrtitude issues.”

          Who the hell is trading any of those top prospects for Bedard? The guy has barely pitched in years and is a free agent after the season. He’s not comparable to Cliff Lee anymore in the slightest.

          “IMO there isnt much sizzle in the Yanks system right now”

          Based on what?

  • cranky

    Bedard has long had a reputation as a “small town guy” and definitely not a guy suited to NYC.

    My dream trade(s) go like this:

    Romine+Noesi for Wandy Rodriguez

    Nunez+Gardner+Laird for Jose Reyes……put Jeter in LF.

    Sign Kazmir upon his release, and work him out as a LOOGY.

    • FIPster Doofus

      No thanks to trading Gardner for a soon-to-be ridiculously expensive, oft-injured player and then placing Jeter’s horribly inefficient bat in left field. Yikes.

    • Nico

      I don’t think Jeter would accept that. And I know this might sound crazy, but I like Gardner quite a lot and we should keep him while he’s cheap.. He’s a poor man’s Crawford and he’s playing much better than him!

      • FIPster Doofus

        It’s not crazy. Gardner is very good.

        • http://myspace.com/bksmalls Smallz

          Any conversation for Reyes is gunna start with pitching. Nunez, Gardner and Laird? No way in hell.

      • Owen Two

        I don’t think Jeter would accept that.

        And we don’t even have Frank Robinson to kick his butt.

    • http://myspace.com/bksmalls Smallz

      Niether of those deals are fair deals. Your unloading EH talent for viable Major League players. The Mets would have to be braindead to the pull the trigger on that deal. Theres also no way in hell your putting Jeter in left field. Not this year and I dont see it ever happening. Hes too stubborn. Shortstop is not an offensive position. His defense is completley adequate. His range has suffered but hes 36 years old. Ripken didnt even play SS to that age. Taking Jeter off the position hes played for 15 years and then bringing a guy from the other side of town whos really the opposite kind of player of Jeter. See how well that goes with the captain..

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      Jeter for Reyes. Straight up.

      ok…we pay Jeter’s salary, they pay Reyes’ salary.

    • David, Jr.

      That would great. Get rid of a left fielder that is a human highlight reel and replace him with a 37 yr old that has never played there. Tremendous move.

  • CC’s third leg

    noesi or nova for him straight up?

    • Brooklyn ed

      and why would the Yanks trade for Reyes and use him for 2 months? Jeter going to LF? pft…

      • Brooklyn ed

        damnit, that reply is meant for the other one. that’s what I get for commenting from my phone.

    • Nico

      If his salary is so low you have to give them good prospects in a package, eg. Warren and someone else like Maxwell or JoVa.

  • IRF

    I don’t see the NYC thing as a big issue. Its not as if Bedard has a NTC, and furthermore, hes pitching for his future. If he blows up in NY, that only scares off other teams. Even if he is a dick who hates big cities, I don’t see why he can’t suck it up for 2 months and perform well.

  • Bpdelia

    Hmmmm. Phelps, joseph, heredia?

    • Nico

      That looks about right. Maybe change Joseph with someone like… Lyerly?

  • http://myspace.com/bksmalls Smallz

    Any thoughts on Ted Lilly?

    • http://myspace.com/bksmalls Smallz

      Yankees definetley need another lefty starter for that Red Sox lineup. If Hughes comes back strong you could have a potential rotation of CC Burnett Hughes Colon and Lilly. Lining him up to matchup against the backend of other teams rotations I dont see why he cant be servicable with the amount of offensive support he’ll more often that not get. Hes been pretty good so far this year too.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Too many fly balls.

      • http://myspace.com/bksmalls Smallz

        I would still consider him an upgrade over Garcia or Nova. Just a thought.

        • FIPster Doofus

          Absolutely on Nova. But Garcia’s debatable, IMO.

          • http://myspace.com/bksmalls Smallz

            Garcia is ok against bad teams. He gets absolutley crucified against good teams like the Red Sox and Rangers. They definetley need one more lefty in that rotation

            • FIPster Doofus

              I wouldn’t have much more confidence in Lilly than Garcia against those teams, though, as he’s nothing more than a back-end starter. So, I think if the Yankees are going to acquire a pitcher at the deadline, they need to aim higher. It’s doubtful a guy like Lilly would make much of a difference with respect to transforming this playoff-caliber team into a championship-caliber one.

              • http://myspace.com/bksmalls Smallz

                Yea I hear ya on that but lets face it. Jobas done for a long time. Jeters hurt, Colons hurts, Sorianos hurts, both leftys are hurt. If your a GM of a team and Cashmans number is poppin up on your cellphone right now and hes asking for a guy like Wandy Rodriguez or Matt Latos or even Charlie Morton. Arent they gunna really bang him over the head for prospects? I know I would. I dont think you can really ask for much for Lilly and he might just be better working with the Cubs pitching coach again I am blanking on his name..

                • Clay Bellinger

                  Larry Rothschild?

                  • http://myspace.com/bksmalls Smallz

                    Yes. Thank you.

            • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

              Didn’t Garcia pitch really well against the Rangers at least once this year? In his first start, when he hadn’t pitched in like, years?

              • Kosmo

                That´s true 6 innings 2 hits 0 runs.His only bumps have been against the Sawx.

              • http://myspace.com/bksmalls Smallz

                Yea I think he did. I dunno this seems like a realistic guy that Yankees would look into, thats all. Not nessacarrily that I even want to see it happen. Just that I think its the more reasonable given the desperate situation the Yanks find themselves in.

            • Ted Nelson

              ” He gets absolutley crucified against good teams like the Red Sox and Rangers.”

              Huh? You’re basing this entirely on two starts against Boston.

              His first start of the season was a 6 IP 0 ER job against Texas… how does he get crucified by Texas?

              Last season he has 3 quality starts in his three starts against Boston and Texas, another against TB, a 7 IP 1 ER job against the Yankees in the Stadium, and a 6 IP 4 ER start against the Yankees.

              • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

                the 7 IP/1 ER game last year was at US Cellular, the 6 IP/4 ER was at the Stadium.

                But yeah, this.

                • Ted Nelson

                  True… I confused the vs. and @ since he’s a Yankee now and was a White Sock then.

                  • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

                    No worries. Point is, I think when the guy is on, he’s on. You’d expect better-hitting teams to take advantage of his mistakes when he’s not on, and I don’t know enough about pitcher mechanics to say if the Red Sox were killing good pitches of his or if he was just off on those days, but he did quite well against the Rangers. Yeah, he didn’t have the Ks, but watching the game, he really kept them very off-balance.

                    Again, I dunno enough about pitching to say if that’s sustainable or not. But I think Garcia’s done a pretty good job, albeit his peripherals are not that awesome. But I think if they’re going to go after a Dodger pitcher, it should be Kuroda (realistically, we’re not getting Kershaw), not Lilly.

        • Clay Bellinger

          If he’s better than either of them, it’s not by much. Prob not worth a trade. Relative to how they’ve pitched so far.

  • Frank

    Not into Bedard based on his health history. However, I don’t think he’ll be available anyway as long as the M’s have a chance in that division, which is very possible.

  • Nico

    I know this sounds stupid but, how about Freddy Garcia and a C prospect? we get a better pitcher, they get someone who they can resign and a minor prospect.

    • FIPster Doofus

      M’s wouldn’t do it. No reason for them to take a 34-year-old when they’d be looking for youth in return.

      • Nico

        How about another stupid trade: Bedard and the LHP prospect Robles for Chamberlain. The Yankees would get future and immediate help, the M’s would get a young pitcher who could return as a starter.

        • Nico

          BTW, (Mauricio) Robles is also injured so it would be fairly equal.

        • Clay Bellinger

          This is just not going to happen.

          • Nico

            Yeah I just realised it’s stupid. Joba carries a lot of risk I guess.

            • Ted Nelson

              Not nearly as much risk as Bedard…

    • Bill M

      Wow, Freddie Garcia? No way that guy comes back to Seattle. The only Yankee coveted in Seattle is Cano. Ok Montero gets some attention. Now the way to get Seattle to deal is to offer to take a guy like Figgins contract, I bet you’d get Seattle folk listening with an offer like that.

      No question there’s risk with Bedard, but there is WS level reward, if this guy stays healthy he can beat anyone. Don’t look at April, he wasn’t really at full speed. Right now heads up with Cliff Lee, in a game 7, I’d take Bedard his talent is that good. Long term..ok maybe not.

      The Yanks are about winning right now, this year, every year. Bedard is the Yanks best chance if you can get him..

  • The Guns of the Navarone (a mushroom cloud layin’ mothafucka, mothafucka!)

    I would do it if it were up to me. This is just the kind of guy you pull the trigger on at the deadline. I like Wandy, but Bedard would come cheaper and could possibly out-perform Wandy.

    Every pitcher that’s going to be available is going to have risk. There isn’t a perfect fit out there. I would gamble on Bedard.

  • Brian

    No trade talks with Seattle please.

  • viasistina

    I always love the talk about “doesnt like big cities”. Where does he want to play? on a farm in the middle of Montana? What major league team isnt in a “big city”? By the way, this guy is out of the Baltimore system, one of the smallest of the big cities, why didn’t he sign with them?

    • JohnC

      he would get eaten alive by the NY media. Blowing off the media, as Soriano found out, is a major no-no!

    • Clay Bellinger

      They traded him. There’s a huge difference between a big city like Pittsburgh, Seattle, Baltimore, KC and the biggest city – NYC.

    • Mike HC

      Randy Johnson found out about the difference really fast.

  • Kosmo

    I don´t think Bedard has 150 innings in his arm for 2011.

  • Nico

    There is no point in us thinking about trades; it’s probable that the yankees trade for E-Jax…

    • jsbrendog

      there is no point in us thinking about trades….says the guy whose follow up sentence is thinking about a trade.

      • Nico

        next time, I’ll put a sarcasm tag so everyone can understand ;)

        • jsbrendog

          curse you. haha

  • bonestock94

    He should be reasonably cheap, no? Nobody is giving up top prospects for him.

  • Cy Pettitte


    on a related note, I can’t wait for the trade deadline to pass, I can’t listen to one more person calling into Francesa to suggest the Mets trade Reyes for Montero or Beltran for Matt Cain.

    • http://myspace.com/bksmalls Smallz


    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      on a related note, I can’t wait for the trade deadline to pass, I can’t listen to one more person calling into Francesa to suggest the Mets trade Reyes for Montero or Beltran for Matt Cain.

  • Johnny O

    I still say go after Liriano. He’s been waaaaaaaay better lately, even a few starts before the brief DL stint. And Minnesota isn’t looking anywhere near like a contender.

    • JobaWockeeZ


      He is looking a lot better. Maybe a Romine based package will suffice? They are regretting the Ramos trade.

      • David, Jr.

        I heard Patrick Reusse, a very good sportswriter from MN talking about Liriano the other day. He said that he could see the Twins selling “high” on him, depending upon how things go for the Twins in the next few weeks. He thought that Liriano would cost about 4 – 52, and he did not see the Twins doing that. He mentioned the Yankees. He said that the Twins love Montero and Banuelos. He spoke of the Ramos trade exactly as you reference, saying that they are increasingly concerned about Mauer and have nothing at all behind him.

  • the tenth inning stretch

    Is there a chance Seattle becomes a buyer at the deadline? With their pitching, if they’re still in the race and could add some bats, they could make the AL West really interesting.

    • Ted Nelson

      Yeah, I think that definitely could happen.

    • RustyJohn

      What would they give up to buy? Their farm system sucks- their best prospects- Pineda and Ackley- are already on the team. The parts they have (other than Bedard) no one is going to want- someone going to take Chone Figgins, Adam Kennedy, Jack WIlson or Jack Cust of their hands in return for useful parts?

  • FernandoP

    NO, NO, NO to Bedard!

  • RustyJohn

    I don’t think Seattle would have any problem trading him even if in the midst of their own play-off race- they likely will have additional bullpen help later in the year with some of the guys in AAA working out their problems and Aardsma coming back- they could then slot David Pauley back into a starting role.

    Two, why wouldn’t the Yanks want a lights out lefty? The guy just threw 7 innings of shut-out ball tonight (granted, against the Angels). His last few starts: 7 IP, 0 runs, 3 hits, 5ks; 5 IP, 2 runs, 3 hits, 6ks; 7 IP, 8 hits, 3 runs, 7ks; 6 1/3, 6 hits, 2 runs, 7ks; 6 IP, 0 runs, 6 hits, 4ks; 8 IP, 0 runs, 3 hits, 9 ks. Anyone on the Yanks other than CC doing better than that?

    The Yanks schedule in the 2nd half has a lotta AL west opponents- 6 series with AL west teams, 12 with AL east teams (but 3 of those are with Baltimore) and then a few series with Kansas City and Minnesota. If you have concerns about the vaunted AL East, he is only going to be facing good AL east teams a handful of times.

    Fourth, who cares if he doesn’t want to talk to the media in New York? He’s only going to be there for 2 1/2 months.

    Fifth, a trade would be contingent on his passing a physical. Again, he’s going to be in NYC for 2 months or so- if his shoulder is going to act up it would show some signs four months into the season. If anything he’s getting stronger as the season goes on- the M’s were limiting his pitch count to the high 80s, low 90s in April. He’s thrown 100 pitches or more in four of his last seven starts (other three starts he threw about 96 pitches). And his velocity has continued to increase. Grab him- no way the Yanks can win a playoff series with their sucky rotation.

  • SeattleFan

    Bedard got rocked in his first four starts after coming back from surgery. He had a 7.71 ERA and allowed 7 HRs in only 18 2/3 innings. Since then (9 starts) he’s 4-0 with a 1.70 ERA and has only given up 2 HRs.

    He looks as good as he ever has.

  • Bill

    Bedard is pitching extremely well. The big question is will he hold up throughout the entire year. Its only 50/50 at best IMO. If Seattle is willing to part with him for mediocre prospects its certainly worth the gamble, but it would be a fools errand to give up anything of significant value. And on Seattle’s end if they’re still in the playoff race I wouldn’t give him up. If they make it to the playoffs they have the rotation to do damage there. In fact they should be looking to make a move or two for some offense. With that in mind I don’t see it happening.