December 23, 2007 in Sports

Bedard bid looks bad

Kirby Arnold Everett Herald
Associated Press photo

Erik Bedard, on the Seattle Mariners’ wish list, went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA last year for Baltimore. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

The Seattle Mariners’ pursuit of star pitcher Erik Bedard took an interesting twist Saturday when the Baltimore Orioles said they expect the left-hander to be their opening-day starter.

The Baltimore Sun reported that no team has put together a trade package for the 28-year-old left-hander that satisfies the Orioles.

“The likelihood of doing something prior to 2008 is very, very low in my estimation at the present,” Andy MacPhail, the Orioles’ president of baseball operations, told the Sun. “But that said, you never know.”

Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi, after signing right-hander Carlos Silva to a four-year, $48 million contract last week, said he planned to be more aggressive in efforts to add a second starter.

The Mariners, while involved in trade talks for Twins ace Johan Santana, have been mentioned most in speculation over Bedard, who went 13-5 with a 3.16 earned run average last season for the Orioles.

The Orioles, known to also have spoken with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds about Bedard, are asking for three or four major league-ready young players in return.

The Marines have those in outfielder Adam Jones, pitcher Brandon Morrow and catcher Jeff Clement, and there also have been reports that relief pitcher George Sherrill could be part of a package.

However, Bavasi said last week that he isn’t likely to trade Morrow, a hard-throwing right-hander who pitched impressively in relief in 2007 and is being groomed as a starter. If the Mariners don’t acquire a starter, Morrow could be in the 2008 rotation. If they do, he’ll be needed as a right-handed setup reliever.

“He fits too many roles.” Bavasi said. “Either way, he’s real tough to move.”

One reason for keeping Morrow in relief is that the Mariners still can’t count on hard-throwing right-hander Mark Lowe to make a successful comeback from major elbow surgery.

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