When Erik Bedard lost out to Jake Odorizzi in the Tampa Bay Rays’ fifth starter race, it was only a matter of time until he moved on. Now it is official. The Rays released Bedard, who will look for big league opportunities elsewhere. The question is going to be whether he gets one. Especially after Alex Colome‘s suspension, the Rays would love to have Bedard come back to the team and head to Triple-A. What is the probability that Bedard will actually do that? Let’s go through each team’s projected rotation and see if Bedard would be an option for anyone.
Before Harang signed with the Braves, it looked like Bedard had a chance. Instead, the Braves will go with the trio of recent top prospects Teheran, Wood, and Hale plus the veterans Santana and Harang.
The D-Backs took a huge hit when Patrick Corbin got injured, but they still possess solid depth. No room for Bedard here.
It would be pretty cool if Bedard returned to Baltimore, but this starting five is solid enough and top prospect Kevin Gausman will eventually get another chance. A reunion would come at Triple-A, and Bedard is hoping for more than that.
No one says this rotation is going to dominate, but with that many recognizable pitchers in the mix, you have to think the Cubs will find a solid starting five and one or two starters when needed.
The White Sox don’t have openings in their rotation at the moment, but Danks and Paulino have not exactly been the picture of health. Bedard could head to Triple-A and hope for a call-up.
Cueto and Bailey have also not been completely healthy in spring training, and Simon is a wild card as a starter. Even if Bedard couldn’t start games for the Reds, he could be a candidate for their injury-depleted bullpen. The Reds could be a real fit.
The first three are good but spent time on the disabled list in 2013. Salazar is a rookie, which comes with its concerns. The last three are total wild cards. The Indians would probably take another name to thrown into the ring, but it’s doubtful that being one of eight is the type of opportunity Bedard is looking for. We also can’t forget Trevor Bauer.
There is some real talent in this Rockies rotation, although whether enough of them can stay healthy and perform is a question. Bedard could hope for a chance if he signed at Triple-A, but that’s about it.
Doug Fister is gone, but the Tigers still have a strong starting five. It is doubtful that a pitcher like Bedard would interest them.
Could Bedard’s team from 2013 give him a chance to return? There is a possibility that Bedard could be better than pitchers like Peacock, Jerome Williams, Dallas Keuchel, and Luke Harrell, but the Astros have nothing to gain signing Bedard just for a slight upgrade. They will be giving their prospects a chance, using the veterans they have to fill in where needed.
The Royals can’t be sure what they’re going to get from Chen, but Danny Duffy is a another option. It looks like the Royals are satisfied with the pitchers they have.
With Santiago and Skaggs coming aboard this offseason, the Angeles have high hopes from their rotation. With several other arms behind them, Bedard does not have a spot.
With Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett out to begin the year, the Dodgers’ rotation does not look quite as formidable as it could be, but Haren and Maholm are both better regarded than Bedard at this point.
There is a chance that Bedard could be better than any of the last three, but with the Marlins unlikely to contend this year, signing Bedard would be a waste of time.
The Brewers would be an interesting fit for Bedard because Garza and Estrada are injury prone and Peralta still has something to prove in his second big league season. Bedard would not get a job from the get-go, but this would be a team that would offer him big league time at some point.
The Twins made some moves this offseason and will have four solid veterans and a top prospect in their rotation. Samuel Deduno can serve as depth. The Twins have potentially their best rotation in a while, and they have found themselves dealing pitchers (like Vance Worley), not signing them.
We have to wonder how effective Matsuzaka and Lannan will be, and Mejia is still an unproven quantity, but this could quietly solid rotation even without Matt Harvey. They don’t need Bedard.
If Sabathia and Pineda regain their olds forms, this is going to be a very interesting rotation. The Yankees have David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno as additional depth, so Bedard will not be on their radar.
Jarrod Parker was a big loss, but the A’s still have pitching depth built up.
It’s not good that we only have four healthy pitchers listed for the Phillies, but Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is another option as the Phillies hope to get by. Nevertheless, Bedard could join the team and hope to seize that fifth starter job until the other pitchers can return. Even if he only gets a few starts, another opportunity will come if he pitches effectively.
These Pirates starting pitchers do not have the best track records for health, but the Pirates have plenty of depth and Jameson Taillon could be another impressive starter when he makes his major league debut. Bedard will not be returning to Pittsburgh.
Bedard would love to pitch at Petco, but the Padres should be fine with what they even after losing Johnson to begin the year.
Vogelsong was terrible last year, but the Giants will give him another chance. But with Vogelsong and Lincecum question marks while Hudson is a possible injury candidate, the Giants could sign Bedard as an alternate option.
The Mariners’ current rotation is not too formidable, but they do have a pair of very good pitchers who will not be out for too long. Bedard’s opportunity with the Mariners would be limited.
This is an awfully good rotation and only the start of the Cardinals’ multiplicity of talented arms. Bedard will not be going to St. Louis.
We already know the answer to this one.
The Rangers have already made their moves to shore up their depth after losing Derek Holland. With Darvish missing Opening Day but likely not too much more, Bedard missed his opening.
The top four is dominant, and the bottom two plus Ross Detwiler should be more than serviceable out of the fifth spot. Sorry, Erik.
After going through all the teams, it looks like the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies are the most likely to offer Erik Bedard a big league roster spot, with the White Sox, Rockies, and Mariners possibly having a slight interest as well. There is a chance that Bedard’s opt-out will work to perfection and he will find himself with a big league job. However, with only two legitimate fits and Bedard not knocking anyone’s socks off in spring training, it would not be surprising to find him at the Rays’ Triple-A Durham affiliate when the season begins.