Erik Bedard is hardly the only quality pitcher still winless on the season. Jordan Zimmermann, Ryan Dempster, Cliff Lee and and Bruce Chen all have ERAs of 2.00 or better and are still sporting zeroes in the win column.
None of those guys, though, have taken more than two losses. Bedard was just tagged with his fourth today after allowing three runs — two earned — in seven innings against the Cardinals. Bedard has allowed just eight runs — seven earned — on the season, but the Pirates have scored a total of three in his four starts, giving him the 0-4 record.
It didn’t have to be this way. Bedard surely would have drawn interest from contenders had he waited until some of the top pitchers were off the market last winter. Instead, he jumped at Pittsburgh’s $4.5 million guarantee on Dec. 7. I wonder if he’d make the same choice again.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.