Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Last-minute deal: Erik Bedard to the Red Sox

Erik Bedard was a mess in his return from the DL on Friday, issuing four walks and allowing five runs over 1.1 innings. But that sloppy start apparently didn't scare off the Red Sox, who finally succeeded in their quest to add injury risk to the rotation.

Boston beat the clock on Sunday, acquiring Bedard from Seattle in a three-team, prospect-heavy deal, just ahead of the MLB trade deadline.

It's a moderately complicated transaction that breaks down this way, per Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston:

? The Mariners receive OF Trayvon Robinson (via the Dodgers) and OF Chih-Hsien Chiang (via Boston);

? The Dodgers receive C Tim Federowicz, RHP Stephen Fife and RP Juan Rodriguez (via Boston);

? The Red Sox receive Bedard and RHP Josh Fields.

My quick take here is that Seattle did extremely well, prospect-wise. Robinson, 23, is a centerfielder hitting .293/.375/.563 with 26 homers and eight steals at Triple-A Albuquerque. He's stolen plenty of bases in his minor league career (38 in 2010, 47 in '09), but never with a great success rate. He whiffs a lot, so that's a concern. Still, he's an athletic player with on-base skills and significant potential. Chiang, 23, is a left-handed batter who's delivered a .338/.399/.647 line for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, with 36 doubles, 18 homers and six swipes. Here's some terrific background info regarding his breakout season, from WEEI.

So, all things considered, a good haul for the M's. Hard to say at the moment if there was even a strong market for Bedard, given his recent health history.

As for the Dodgers ... um ... well, Ned Colletti seems really enthusiastic about Federowicz. His assessment is based mostly on defense and leadership, though, not the catcher's fantasy forecast. There's really not much to like on the L.A. side of this deal, at least not in the fake game. Robinson was a solid trade chip, not well played.

Boston has added an accomplished left-handed starter in Bedard, but of course we'll always worry about his health. Bedard, as most of you know, has dealt with knee, shoulder and hip issues in recent years. But on the plus side, he's enjoying a very nice bounce-back season, posting a 3.45 ERA (3.67 FIP), 1.17 WHIP and 87 Ks in 91.1 innings. Assuming the Red Sox approve Bedard's medical chart ? no sure thing, since Rich Harden failed his review ? he should be a nice addition.

As a multi-league Bedard owner, I don't mind this deal a bit. He's done his best work on the road this season (2.16 ERA, 1.06 WHIP), so I'll happily trade Safeco for the best run support in baseball. The Red Sox clearly needed to add a starter, since the rotation basically only goes two-deep right now, while Clay Buchholz is sidelined. Just please keep your arm attached, Erik, and try to disregard any aches and pains elsewhere. Boston will face Baltimore six times over the final two weeks, so Bedard could prove useful in the head-to-head playoffs.


Photo via US Presswire

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