Report: Pirates sign left-hander Erik Bedard for $4.5 million

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This certainly won’t quell the rumors that the southpaw isn’t big on pressure situations.

According to Marc Brassard and MLB Trade Rumors, the Pirates and Erik Bedard have agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.

Bedard made 24 starts last season and went 5-9 with a 3.62 ERA for Seattle and Boston. He proved that his stuff is still mostly intact after years of shoulder problems, but it’s anyone’s guess is he’ll ever put together another full season. The 32-year-old has made 30 starts in a year just once. Last year’s 24 was his high total since 2007.

Bedard will join Kevin Correia, James McDonald and Jeff Karstens in the Pittsburgh rotation. Charlie Morton could also have a spot if healthy, but the Pirates will likely be on the lookout for one more starter this winter.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”