Free Agent Spotlight: Erik Bedard

With Justin Duchscherer being reviewed with his mental problems, we turn to another high-risk, high-reward type pitcher in Erik Bedard. Yes, we all remember him as the guy who was traded from Baltimore to Seattle for soon-to-be All-Star Adam Jones and reliever George Sherrill, but obviously the trade didn’t go so well for the Mariners. Why you ask? Bedard started just 15 games in each of his two seasons in Seattle, going a combined 11-7 with a 3.24 ERA. In 2008, his season ended in June after tearing his labrum, an injury many doctors say a pitcher will never be able to return to true form from. The labrum is the joint that basically connects the arm to the shoulder and allows movement, so you can only imagine the pain. He had surgery in September and returned for Spring Training. In 2009, he left in June again after inflammation in the very same shoulder, and he missed the rest of the year. Note: He has been on the DL 6 times in the last 3 seasons.
photo from Getty Images

So, let us look back to the good old days when he was a strikeout machine. For the Orioles from 2004-2007 (and .2 innings in 2002) he went 40-34 (remember how below average the O’s have been this decade). A 3.94 ERA over that span; 658 innings, 639 strikeouts, including a team record 221 in 2007 (10.93 KPG) and walking just 254 [just over a 2.5-1 K-BB ratio]. He is a career 5-4 vs. Boston, 11-3 vs. Tampa Bay, but only 1-3 at Yankee Stadium as an opponent.

Now, seeing this, do we take the risk and go after the lefty? There’s a chance he could be a stud again, and there’s a chance he could get hurt again. Let’s face it..we need a starter for next year (more like two or three or four). Personally, I would rather go after someone like a Duchscherer, with Bedard next in line. Harden and Sheets (more Harden to me) are too great of risks to take, unless they remain free agents until late in the off-season. But if we want him, we better hurry, his drafter Baltimore is looking to sign him for some good money…

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  1. Jason (Scotia)
    December 4, 2009 at 7:23 PM

    I'm 2 years out from a torn lebrum in my left shoulder and i'm still having complications and discomfort. The surgery according to my physicians was a success. The amount of scar tissue after the surgery takes significant time to workout. I couldn't imagine coming back from this to try and throw a 90+ mph fastball. I wouldn't get my hopes up for bedard to recover and throw the way he did before the injury. Maybe my surgeon screwed up my shoulder, I haven't ruled that out. A lebrum tear is very painful so maybe he's gotten better treatment than I. Just thought I'd share this for a little bit of perspective.

  2. Brandon
    December 4, 2009 at 8:12 PM

    Thanks for reading and the perspective….there is definitely something to what you are saying, but don't forget that Bedard had his surgery done by a practically famous surgeon.

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