clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

MLB Trade Rumors: Will The Seattle Mariners Trade Erik Bedard?

The Seattle Mariners' entered the 2008 with the sheen of a play-off contender. After acquiring an ace in Erik Bedard to head the rotation, many national pundits expected Bedard to lead the M's into the play-off especially considering their 88-win 2007. (ed: Funny. The New York Mets did the same and also have struggled. Is pitching really everything?)

71 games into the 2008 season and the Mariners look like a good bet to have the chance to draft San Diego State's Stephen Strasburg #1 overall next June. The Mariners are the only team in the major leagues with a winning percentage under .400 - 3.5 games worse than the next closest team, the Washington Nationals. There do not appear to be any measures that indicate the M's can get much better - 30th in OBP (.307) and 29th in SLG (.374).

So with the July 31st trading frenzy in its nascent stage, the firing of the man repsonsible for constructing this roster makes perfect sense. Why let Bill Bavasi try to correct the msitakes in roster construction when he caused?

This morning's news that rookie catcher Jeff Clement will do the majority of the catching has greater implications than just acquiring catcher-eligibility for 2009 drafts (four appearances at C versus 11 at DH). It means management is willing to correct mistakes of the previous regime. This one being the three-year contract extension gave to catcher Kenji Johjima before the season started.

And if ownership is on board with that decision, is there any reason to believe that the Erik Bedard acquisition stays off-limits? I don't think there is. While some cannot fathom the Mariners acquiring two major league pieces the caliber of CF Adam Jones and lefty closer George Sherrill along with three pitching prospects, one of which, RHP Chris Tillman, looks to be a Top 50 one, I won't be surpised to see Bedard fetch something very close to that.

With half of 2008 and all of 2009 still to be played on Bedard's current contract, his value has to be seen through the lens of what the Texas Rangers received from the Altanta Braves for 1B Mark Teixeira last season. If the M's can turn Bedard into an elite prospect and three mid-tier ones, I think the team should pull the trigger.

With Willie Bloomquist and Jeremy Reed sharing time in CF, the Mariners' could use a CF prospect. Yeah the irony is thick given they dealt one for Bedard. Starting pitching and bullpen help is required along with a bat at 1B and a quality 2B to push Jose Lopez.

Which system the pieces to make the Mariners move? The New York Yankees could offer four or five mid-tier prospects but don't have that elite player to headline the offer. The Boston Red Sox have the prospects, but does Jed Lowrie as a 2B entice enough? Do the Red Sox even need Bedard?

How about the Chicago Cubs? A package headed by Sean Gallagher and Rich Hill with CF Felix Pie and 2B Eric Patterson looks intriguing. My sense is getting away from Lou Piniella and the win-now-play-veterans mentality in Chicago could do wonders for three of those four players.

What I find interesting is Erik Bedard's market value remains in the same relative place it was this past winter when Johan Santana was the more accomplished pitcher, but his market value was considered less because he had just a a year remaining. Now, C.C. Sabathia plays the Santana role.

Am I way off base?