Los Angeles Dodgers Ink Erik Bedard to Minor League Deal

Always looking for depth in the starting pitching department, the Los Angeles Dodgers have reportedly signed left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard to a minor league contract according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.

Bedard, 35, is coming off an uneventful 2014 campaign in Tampa Bay where he provided less than stellar results for the Rays.  In 17 games (15 starts), Bedard pitched to a 4-6 record with a 4.76 ERA in 75 2/3 innings. The Rays decided that Bedard’s contributions weren’t worth his roster spot. The team designated him for assignment and subsequently released the left-hander in August.

After failing to latch on with another team, Bedard’s 2014 season drew to a close.

Ever since his successful stint with the Baltimore Orioles, Bedard has consistently been unable to repeat that success. After posting a 13-5 record with a 3.16 ERA in 182 innings in 2007, the Orioles elected to trade Bedard while his value was at its peak. It turned out to be a great decision as it ended up being one of the most lopsided trades in recent memory.

Here’s a recap of that trade:

BAL Received:- OF Adam Jones, P Chris Tillman, P George Sherrill, P Kam Mickolio and P Tony Butler

SEA Received:- Erik Bedard

That’s right, the Orioles parted with their talented left-hander and in exchange, set up the clubs future. Adam Jones has become one of the best outfielders and overall players in baseball. Chris Tillman found consistency and is now a former All-Star with three solid seasons under his belt. George Sherrill was effective out the bullpen for the Orioles, notching 51 total saves during a 1 1/2 year stint with the club from 2008-09.

As for Bedard, his stint with the Mariners was mired with disappointment. Several trips to the disabled list and ineffective pitching while healthy was the tell-tale story of Bedard’s time as a Mariner. In 2 1/2 seasons with Seattle, Bedard only made 46 starts with just 15 wins under his belt.

Seattle had enough as the team dealt Bedard to the Boston Red Sox in 2011 where Bedard’s struggles continued. A 5.01 ERA through 24 starts for the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates ended up with Bedard being released once again. The next season, Bedard signed with the Astros and managed to stay healthy for the whole season. However, he still pitched to an abysmal 4-12 record with a 4.59 ERA for the last place Astros.

And now, Bedard will suit up for the Dodgers in spring training, with a hope that he can make the major league team. Barring injury, he most likely won’t be doing it as a starter. For starters, the Dodgers already have Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy for four of their five rotation slots. Also, Bedard has only been able to average just over five innings a start since 2012, proving that he’s far from an innings eater. Finally, the club signed left-hander Brett Anderson to serve as the teams probable 5th starter.

However, much like Bedard, Anderson comes with a number of question marks as the oft-injured left-hander hasn’t pitched a full season since 2009. It will be interesting to watch these two disabled list mainstays fight for a spot they’ll likely have to relinquish to another arm at some point due to injury.

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