When FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported this morning that the Orioles could be interested in dealing for former Bird and current Astros left-hander Erik Bedard, my jaw didn’t hit the floor, but it definitely came as a bit of a surprise. Rosenthal is a very respected baseball reporter, so I’m not here to dispute his report. What I will dispute is any idea that the O’s SHOULD attempt a deal for Bedard. That idea would just be a little crazy to me.
Erik Bedard is not a team player, and is not someone I think the Orioles would want in the clubhouse. He’s not the type of personality that would gel with the type of players that are currently on the roster. Bedard has never been a fan of the media, and the way he treated them in Baltimore is now a part of O’s folklore. Getting him to even talk to a group of reporters after a game HE starts is like doing a pair of root canals on a cat. I’ve never personally done dental work on anyone, much less a cat, but I can assume it wouldn’t be an enjoyable experience.
Bedard still has some talent left in that old arm, sure. He even took a no-hitter into the seventh inning this past Saturday against another one of his former teams, the Seattle Mariners. When Houston manager Bo Porter came out to the mound to give Bedard a blow with one out in the seventh, the southpaw told his skipper he was done. Apparently 109 pitches were just too many for Bedard to throw and he couldn’t go any further. In a 2-2 game, Bedard didn’t want the chance to keep battling for his team. He ended up taking the loss, despite not allowing a hit in 6.1 innings. After the game, Bedard’s comments were very telling. When asked if he would’ve liked to stay in the game to keep his no-hitter going, Bedard said, “No, I’ve had three shoulder surgeries and I’m not going over 110 (pitches), I’d rather pitch a couple more years than face another batter.”
I understand why a guy may not want to put his health in jeopardy for the Houston Astros, but is that a mindset the Orioles really want to bring to the pitching staff?
The Orioles may want to add another arm as insurance for Jason Hammel. Hammel has obviously not pitched as well as the other four guys in the rotation and could be a liability down the stretch. Still, Bedard is not the right candidate for the job. Rosenthal’s report named a few other pitchers that would be much more suited for the role, such as Bud Norris or Lucas Harrell. The only role that Bedard could possible inhabit on the Orioles roster is “headache.”
Personally I think the O’s would be more interested in dealing for a right-handed bat that could fill the role of a designated hitter. Remember that Danny Valencia, who has been struggling mightily at the plate, could be getting an unpaid vacation from Major League Baseball for a possible link to the Biogenesis scandal. As much as we’d all love to see Henry Urrutia thrive in the role as an everyday DH, he’s an unproven bat to this point and can’t be relied on for a team battling down the stretch in the tough AL East.
The trade rumors will be flying over the next week, and the Orioles have shown no hesitation to buy thus far. Already the O’s have acquired Scott Feldman from the Cubs and Francisco Rodriguez from the Brewers in an attempt to make a push for a second straight postseason berth. It’s important for fans to remember that at this time of the year, when you are a contending ballclub like the Orioles are, any rumor that’s thrown out there should be met with hesitation and skepticism. I just hope I can meet the rumor about a possible return to Baltimore for Erik Bedard with a sledgehammer, because that’s not something any fan should enjoy hearing.