Érik Bédard, why have you forsaken us?
Ok, so it's not official yet, but it appears that Bédard is headed back to the Seattle Mariners on a one year deal.
MLB.com's Jim Street first reported that the Mariners are interested in re-signing Bédard:
I have now heard that the deal is a one-year $1.5 million base salary contract that includes a shipload of incentives. Bedard, you might recall, made $7.5 million last season.
Later, the News Tribune out of Tacoma, WA talked to Bédard about the possibility of returning to the Mariners and Bédard showed great interest although he said no offer has been extended. Some rosy quotes from the surly Canadian:
"They' ve done a phenomenal job this off-season," Bedard said. "Getting Cliff Lee? Man, with Felix (Hernandez) and Lee at the top of the rotation, how are you ever going to lose?"
"I'd love it - put me down as No. 3B, because Ryan (Rowland-Smith) could be No. 3, he's ready," Bedard said. "I'd love to be back in Seattle."
Finally, at about 4 p.m., Jon Morosi of Yahoo! tweeted:
Source confirms that Bedard is close to a one-year deal with the #Mariners. #MLB
I've wanted Érik Bédard to return to the Orioles since the day he became a free agent, and now it looks like it probably won't happen. Bédard is hardly a sure thing. He's rehabbing from labrum surgery and he won't be ready to pitch until late May/early June at the earliest. If he'll return to form or even close to it remains to be seen. But I still wanted him.
The Orioles have a lot of promising young pitching and a few veterans, but you can never have enough pitching. The idea of having Bédard as depth in the middle of the season and the idea of seeing him in the rotation with Brian Matusz and Brad Bergesen and Chris Tillman made me a giddy Orioles fan. I even learned how to make the accent aigu for him!
Even though Bédard hasn't been close this off-season to returning to the Orioles, I still sort of feel like I lost something. That's what I get for getting my hopes up. But I suppose if Bédard isn't going to be an Oriole, Seattle is a pretty decent place for him. If he can return and be effective, a rotation including Felix Hernandez, Cliff Lee, and Bédard is straight up ridiculous.