Erik Bedard throws bullpen session, but “definitely not letting it rip” yet

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Erik Bedard hasn’t pitched since July of 2009, but the oft-injured left-hander threw his first bullpen session of the year yesterday and reported no problems.

Of course, as catcher Josh Bard told Greg Johns of MLB.com afterward: “He’s definitely not letting it rip, but nobody that is smart is at this point.”

Bedard earned $1.75 million last season without throwing an inning for the Mariners, but this time around his incentive-laden one-year, $1 million contract is non-guaranteed. He has to win a spot on the pitching staff coming out of spring training to get anything and then has to stay healthy to collect up to $6 million in bonuses.

New manager Eric Wedge told Johns that “we’re all rooting for him” and expressed some optimism about Bedard throwing “free and easy” in his first session, which lasted about 10 minutes. There’s plenty of room for him in the Mariners’ rotation, but Bedard hasn’t been healthy and effective since 2007 and will be 32 years old next month.