The Boston Red Sox have realized that the new market inefficiency is formerly broken starting pitching, so they attempted to acquire Rich Harden from the Oakland A's on Saturday. Medical reports indicated that a family of horseshoe bats was living inside Harden's shoulder, so the deal was cancelled. The Red Sox didn't stop, though, trading minor league catcher Tim Federowicz in a three-way, 45,303-player deal for Seattle Mariners left-hander Erik Bedard. If there is anything wrong with the particulars of this deal, it's Alex Speier's fault.
Bedard didn't pitch in 2010, and was limited to 15 starts in both 2008 and 2009. He's already started 16 games for the Mariners this year, and he was mostly effective, averaging a strikeout per inning with a 3.45 ERA in 91 innings. His addition will allow the Red Sox to be creative with John Lackey and Andrew Miller.
Federowicz goes to the Dodgers, where he will probably show up as a backup catcher at some point. The 23-year-old is hitting .275/.337/.397 in AA, though it's worth pointing out that the Eastern League is rough on hitters. The Dodgers will also receive 24-year-old minor league pitcher Stephen Fife and 22-year-old Juan Rodriguez from the Red Sox.
The Mariners will get two players. One will be 23-year-old outfielder Trayvon Robinson, who is hitting .293/.375/.563 in AAA, though it's worth pointing out that Albuquerque is the Coors Field of the Pacific Coast League, which is the Arena Footbal League of baseball, complete with nets behind the center-field fence and everything.
The other addition for the Mariners: Chih-Hsien Chiang, a 23-year-old outfielder who is having a breakout year in AA, hitting .338/.399/.647. He has Type 1 diabetes, and his breakout campaign might be related to his improved treatment of the disease. Maybe. I mean, I don't know. It's bad enough that I have to pretend I something about these prospects, much less that I'm a doctor.
Finally, the Red Sox will receive former first-round pick Josh Fields, who is a right-handed reliever, in which relief is defined as peptic discomfort.
The Mariners had two scouts watching the Red Sox’s Triple A affiliate on Wednesday night and one watching the Sox’s Double A club, according to major-league sources.
However, the Sox’s primary focus could be left-hander Erik Bedard, who has not pitched since June 27 due to a strained left knee but will come off the disabled list Friday night against the Rays. The Sox are "all over" Bedard, one source said, and both the Sox and Yankees are expected to scout Bedard Friday night.
Hell, I'm going to scout Bedard too ... from the comfort of my moderately comfortable office chair, part three feet from my small silvery television set.
I take those scouts in the minor-league parks seriously, though; you've got only so many scouts, and not enough to watch every minor-league game every night. So if the M's really had three scouts watching Red Sox minor leaguers Wednesday night, there might actually be something cooking.
The Sox are 64-38, which does make most of their problems seem inconsequential. But right now the club's got two dependable starters, and even if Clay Buchholz comes back and makes it three, you'd like to have four in October. It's not likely, but it's possible that Bedard could be dependable, or somewhat dependable. Which goes most of the way toward explaining why the Red Sox might be interested in him.
Of course, Doug Fister has a better chance of being dependable, but it would take a lot more to get him, since he's younger and cheaper and generally healthier than Bedard.
Friday is going to be a big day for Erik Bedard and the Seattle Mariners. Not only because the Mariners may well be riding an 18-game losing streak; also because Friday will be Bedard's first start back off the disabled list (knee strain), and his only start off the DL prior to Sunday's non-waiver trade deadline.
So how Bedard looks could determine whether he gets traded, and - if he does get dealt - for how much. Interested teams will want to be sure that his knee is healthy, so they'll monitor Bedard closely, but if he pitches well, there could be something of a bidding war.
Why? Because of all the starters on the market, Bedard has arguably the highest upside. Over his most recent 11 starts, he's posted a 1.77 ERA with nearly a strikeout an inning, looking every bit like the front-of-the-line pitcher the Mariners thought they were getting in 2008. Bedard comes with obvious risk, but one can't deny his talent, which means he would be an interesting and affordable gamble.
Heyman names the Tigers and Red Sox specifically as being interested, which isn't surprising, since they've had interest in pretty much every available pitcher floating around. Other teams will be watching Bedard too, though, and so if he looks good on Friday, he could very well have a new home by the end of the weekend.