No one is expecting the left-hander to get a huge contract this offseason, but you’d think there would at least be a little bit of buzz over the oft-injured, frequently surly, yet extremely talented southpaw.
How about a one-year deal? Maybe a contract based heavily on incentives like innings pitched, starts, and interviews conducted without snide remarks? An invite to spring training? Anyone? Hello? Bueller?
Well it turns out there is one heckuva good reason no one is talking about Bedard. As Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports, no one knows when he’ll actually be able to pitch again.
The problem is, nobody really has a handle on when he’ll actually be back. The most optimistic suggestions I’ve heard from around the game is that Bedard could be ready to pitch in a major league game by May.
On the pessimistic side, I’m hearing he’s unlikely to be ready by the first half.
Baker mentions that it’s possible Bedard could return to the Mariners, and that the Orioles have shown interest. But nothing is going to happen soon. Bedard, who has made only 15 starts in each of the last two seasons and has never topped 200 innings in his seven years in the bigs, just can’t get healthy. And there’s no reason to throw money at a guy who will only give you a doctor bill in return.
Speaking of medical evaluations, I imagine any conversation between a team doctor and Bedard would go something like this, with apologies to Airplane!:
Team doctor: Erik, how soon can you pitch?
Bedard: I can’t tell.
Doc: You can tell me. I’m a doctor.
Bedard: No. I mean I’m just not sure.
Doc: Well, can’t you take a guess?
Bedard: Well, not for another two hours.
Doc: You can’t take a guess for another two hours?