Erik Bedard set to return from disabled list Friday

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We probably would have heard left-hander Erik Bedard mentioned in trade rumors this month, but the Mariners have had zero opportunity to showcase him due to a month-long absence with a knee injury.

It may be “too little, too late” to get something done before July 31, but Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that Bedard will rejoin the Mariners’ starting rotation Friday night against the Rays. He was cleared to return after throwing 40 pitches in a simulated game Saturday.

While contenders will get a look at the veteran left-hander on Friday, Mariners manager Eric Wedge confirmed that Bedard will be on a pitch count.

“I’m not going to give you a pitch count, but we’ll have to pull him back a little bit,” Wedge said. “But he will be okay though.”

Bedard didn’t throw a pitch in the majors in 2010 due to shoulder problems, but has a 3.00 ERA and 85/26 K/BB ratio over 90 innings across 15 starts this season. It’s unlikely that he’ll be dealt with such a short turnaround before Sunday’s deadline, but he could a consideration in August if he continues to pitch well, and more importantly, remains healthy.

It sounds like a Manny Machado deal is all but done

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It occurs to me that maybe one of the reasons for all of the incremental rumors about Manny Machado that I mentioned earlier this morning is that he’s . . . already traded? Basically anyway?

I say this based on the latest report from Olney in which he says that the Orioles have the structure of a Manny Machado trade in place and are “going through the medicals/paperwork portion of the transaction.” He quickly adds that the Dodgers “have been very invested” in pursuing Machado but that “a deal is not finished yet.”

Here’s the actual tweet, since we’re parsing words:

As someone who has read trade rumors like it’s his job for the past decade, mostly because it is his job, here’s what Olney’s tweet says to me (and yes, this is all speculation, but it makes a ton of sense):

1. The Orioles have agreed to trade Machado, probably to the Dodgers since they’re mentioned first, but no one has given Buster the OK to actually report it as a done deal. The “not finished yet” is protection, showing that he didn’t spill the beans, but the mention of the Dodgers is a wink to folks to let them know that, yep, he knows what time it is;

2. They probably haven’t given him the OK to report it as a done deal because they want Machado to appear in the All-Star Game as an Oriole;

3. The second he’s removed from the game tonight, the news goes public. Or, if MLB is putting its finger on the scale and doesn’t want to distract from the All-Star Game, the second the game is over. Personally, though, if I was MLB I’d let the news come out during the game because people will stay tuned to wait for it.

Anyway, like I said, speculation. But I feel like it’s right.