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Would You Trade Bédard or Keep Him?

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In The Sun today was an article about how the O's have gauged interest in Érik, and are now trying to figure out what it would take to sign him to a long-term deal...

They've found plenty of interested parties, including the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers.

However, they have no plans to trade Bedard without at least exploring what it might cost to sign the left-hander long term. Bedard is eligible for free agency after the 2009 season, which presents a difficult choice for MacPhail.

Bedard is the first legitimate ace the Orioles have had since Mike Mussina's departure. But Bedard also is the club's most valuable trade chip, and moving him might be the quickest way to land the type of young talent the Orioles need to speed the rebuilding process.

"It would be [a difficult decision] for anybody," MacPhail said yesterday. "Young left-handed starters don't grow on trees, especially ones that are potentially dominant, as Erik has been."

I have felt all along that you build around a guy like Bédard, but now I'm wavering. The Orioles won't likely be competitive for 2-3 years. Will his star fade? Will he continue his injury history? I would love to have him in orange and black for the next half-decade or more, but I also like the idea of getting an exceptional return on him. Because let's face it: odds are, his stock will never be higher than it is now.

The Dodgers, who have a well-stocked farm system, have been one of the most aggressive suitors for Bedard, according to a team source.

Among the players that have been discussed, the source said, are: Matt Kemp, a 23-year-old outfielder; Jonathan Broxton, a 23-year-old reliever; and Clayton Kershaw, a 19-year-old left-handed starter who is regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball.

Of course, half of this question is: how much does it take to sign Bédard to a long-term deal? It'd be easier to make a decision if that number was somewhat known.

What would you do? Take the poll and, while you're at it, add a comment.

[UPDATE: exitfare actually beat me to the punch on this story here, but I am keeping this up for the poll.]

Poll

Le Southpaw Érik

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Sign him to a long-term deal
    (9 votes)
  • 73%
    Trade him this offseason for great prospects
    (33 votes)
  • 6%
    Do what the Orioles typically do, NOTHING, and then watch him walk, netting us zip in return
    (3 votes)
45 votes total Vote Now