He's been a huge part of any moderate success that this team has had in 2011, and surely they would be a much better team if he stuck around (and was healthy) for the remainder of the year.
But Mariner fans, we need to prepare for the Erik Bedard trade because it's very, very likely. Why?
- The Mariners are not going to the playoffs in 2011. They're just not. I'm sorry. It simply makes no sense to hang on to your best trade chip when you have gaping holes in your organization and you're building for the future just because you want to try and win 80 games.
- He's on a one year contract, so it's not like we have him retained on the cheap for years to come. In fact, there's nothing that says we can't re-sign him in the offseason even if we do trade him now. But he's not an albatross contract, so that ought to drive up the asking price a bit since clubs won't be taking on some mess of a contract just because they're making a push for the playoffs.
- This is really a best-case scenario when it comes to Bedard because he's been very successful and he's not hurt. Yet. Why wait for his shoulder to finally crap out again? Deal him now, wish him well, and he's someone else's training table problem.
- Yes, this is the "year of the pitcher" so there aren't a ton of teams that are dying for starters, but teams that are still in the playoff hunt that could really use a guy like Bedard for the second half include the Reds, Indians, Rockies, and Red Sox. I could even see a scenario where the Yankees get involved even though they really don't need him.
Now, what we get back is obviously the biggest question. This team as it's currently built isn't going to realistically contend even next year unless they get some major-league-ready talent soon. But the Mariners very clearly need offense, and they need it badly in the outfield, at catcher, and at third base. And they need them to be ready to contribute next season, with the goal to be competitive by 2013.
Erik Bedard - you've been really great this season. But keep your bag packed.