Erik Bedard’s Labrum

Well, that’s that. With the news now official that Erik Bedard has a tear in his labrum the book on his 2008 and perhaps even his Mariner career is closed.

The result of a protracted three month negotiation between Bill Bavasi of the Mariners and Andy MacPhail of the Orioles that took more bizarre twists than your typical Lost episode, Erik Bedard landed with the Mariners for a whopping five players including Adam Jones, George Sherrill and highly touted minor league pitcher Chris Tillman.

The traditional media mostly sided on the side of Bavasi as the Mariners were coming off an 88-win season while many in the blogosphere were skeptical of the price paid in order to acquire Bedard. Erik did his best to stifle any possible opposition to the trade in Seattle with his first three pitches, a called strike fastball, a swing and a miss on a curveball low in the zone and a ridiculous breaking curve in a dirt that Ian Kinsler had no prayer of connecting on.

After that though it was all downhill. Bedard hurt his hip and as it turns out, his shoulder, in that game and couldn’t even make his second start on schedule. Off and on the disabled list, Bedard entered the season’s final month seeming unlikely to pitch again in 2008, but Mariner fans were still holding out hope that a winter’s worth of rest would return the 2007 version to them in time for 2009. But now that is not to be.

A labrum tear, no matter how minor, means at minimum a half year of rehab and it means that Bedard will not be opening the 2009 season in anyone’s rotation. As a fifth-year arbitration player and someone who did manage to pitch decently in the scant 81 innings he threw, Bedard would likely be due a raise from his current $7 million salary and thus he becomes a serious non-tender candidate for Seattle.

More than just a symbol of a season that’s seen everything the Mariners built turn to rubble, the loss of Erik Bedard represents a loss to all of baseball as the talent he displayed in 2007 was something special and despite his cold reputation from media members, my own, albeit brief, interactions with Bedard suggest otherwise. The loss of Bedard for most of 2008 and a significant portion of 2009 isn’t just the final nail in one of the worst trades of all time, it’s a loss for fans of baseball period.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

5 Responses to “Erik Bedard’s Labrum”

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  1. drew says:

    Tender Bedard. Seriously the Mariners have so much invested its not worth it to let him walk now. Tender him, pay him the 8 mil for one year and hope to God he returns only to throw lightning bolts that make Zeus jealous. Unlikely? Yes. Do the M’s have 8mil to gamble with? Yeppers (The are going to be paying Washburn, Silva, and Batista that kind of money for shitty performances) Even if it is only for a few months its the best the M’s can hope for. If things work out Bedard has some value- lby etting him walk he has none. At the very least tendering him and offer is a one year and 8 mil mistake to have him be a part of your team for one more year.

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  2. Edgar FM says:

    I disagree the Bedard is a loss for Baseball. The guy had a fantastic, injury shortened (imagine that) year last year. That doesn’t mean I’m not ready to forget he ever existed.

    That being said the Mariners would be foolish to non tender Bedard. The Mariners aren’t short on money and the fact they he is going to be at least a type B free agent, all we have to do is offer him arbitration and take our supplemental draft pick.

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  3. SeanK says:

    I take umbrage at your attempt to extend to all the suffering felt by Mariner fans over smoldering crater that is Erik Bedard. Please, please leave us be with our gnashing of teeth and out of control sobbing. We’re just not up for being joined by bandwagon wallowers.

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  4. marc w. says:

    SeanK- he’s one of us. one of us. one of us.

    Matthew, do you have any insight as to why the team is claiming he’ll be out 6-9 months? I was thinking 18 was fairly optimistic if it’s a labrum team.
    Is the issue that it’s not a tear per se, maybe more of a fraying? Or has recovery time been halved by some amazing new physical therapy regimen?

    Or is it more likely that we still don’t *really* know what’s wrong with his damn shoulder?

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  5. Marc,

    I’m not up to date enough on recovery times to know if it’s changed much, but I do believe this is a small tear since otherwise they wouldn’t have tried the rehab route for 4 months. It’s also possible that they don’t know yet how big of an issue it is and won’t until Yocum starts poking around in there.

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