Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times reports that the Seattle Mariners did not offer arbitration to Erik Bedard, effectively ending the southpaw's baseball career in the Pacific Northwest.
It's been a little less than two years after the disastrous decision to trade future All-Star and Gold Glove outfielder Adam Jones, future All-Star reliever George Sherrill, top pitching prospect Chris Tillman and two more minor league arms.
For that immense haul the M's received a pitcher who won 11 games while throwing only 164 innings. Not exactly what then GM Bill Bavasi envisioned for his frontline starter at the time of the trade, but then again, Bill has never been a great baseball mind. People with more baseball sense argued against the trade and, in retrospect, were proven correct.
As a Mariners fan I was devastated by the trade when it happened. Adam Jones was well on his way to becoming my favorite player. Here was someone who in addition to being immensely talented was homegrown (selected in the first round by Seattle) and wanted to be a Mariner. And while the trade will always be considered a big loss it did create some good -- albeit in a roundabout way. Bavasi was eventually fired and replaced this offseason by new GM Jack Zduriencik, who filled the vacant CF left by Jones (which was filled in admirably by Ichiro in 2008) by acquiring Franklin Gutierrez, who has turned out to be a borderline superstar thanks to his sensational defense.
Two years after the idiotic trade... I'm kinda over it. And I certainly have no ill toward Erik. It wasn't Bedard's fault he was burdened with the unrealistic expectations of 1) pitching like a superstar and 2) being healthy. Yes, it was stupid of him for trying to gut it out while hurt (and injuring himself worse in the process) but that's what professional athletes do. And he certainly was not the surly individual and bad teammate that has been reported by the mainstream media. The guy is quiet and doesn't like to answer inane questions. So what?
If anything I'll remember Bedard for owning Ian Kinsler in his first three pitches as a Seattle Mariner. Hopefully he's still capable of pitching like that for another team. I wish him all the best.