Mariners | Bedard talks heating up?
Amid reports that the Mariners' pursuit of Baltimore ace Erik Bedard is heating up, Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi was asked Tuesday...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Amid reports that the Mariners' pursuit of Baltimore ace Erik Bedard is heating up, Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi was asked Tuesday if it would soon be too late in the offseason to swing a trade.
"I hope not," he replied.
As is his steadfast policy, Bavasi declined to discuss any aspect of the Bedard rumors. But he did confirm that the M's still hope to improve their starting pitching, even after the recent signing of free agent Carlos Silva,
"We'd like to continue to work on the starting rotation," Bavasi said, "whether that means trade, free agent, improve [Horacio] Ramirez, or adjust [Brandon] Morrow into the rotation. Whatever the avenue, we're definitely not 'done,' quote unquote."
A major-league source said Tuesday that the Mariners' talks with Baltimore have indeed heated up, as reported by Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com. The Mariners are said to be aggressively pursuing Bedard, a 28-year-old left-hander who went 13-5 with a 3.16 earned-run-average in 2007 while setting a franchise record with 221 strikeouts last season.
But Andy MacPhail, the Orioles' president of baseball operations, seemed to douse those reports.
"There's not been any changes in status," he told the Baltimore Sun in Wednesday's editions. "I talk to different clubs about different things, but I wouldn't characterize anything as heating up these days."
The Reds are believed to be pursuing Bedard, and the Indians and Mets could be players as well.
MacPhail told the Sun last month that there was a "strong likelihood" that Bedard will be the Orioles' starter on opening day. But the Orioles face a major rebuilding job, and Bedard could yield several top prospects.
MacPhail may also be weighing the option of leveraging Bedard at the trade deadline in July, when more teams might get into a bidding war.
Any trade for Bedard by the Mariners would likely take a significant toll on their farm system. But Bedard would be under their control for two more years before free agency.
Outfielder Adam Jones would likely have to be included in any Mariners' offer. The question is how much more young talent it would take to land Bedard. Foxsports.comreported that the Mariners are willing to include catcher Jeff Clement and third baseman Matt Tuiasosopo.
Also mentioned in a potential package were names such as left-handed pitcher Tony Butler, right-hander Chris Tillman, and highly regarded 17-year-old shortstop Carlos Triunfel, who hit .309 in 43 games for Wisconsin last season and .288 in 50 games for High Desert.
Bavasi is said to be trying to keep Morrow out of any deal, but asked in general terms Tuesday if Morrow was untouchable, he replied:
"By definition — no-trade clauses — there are very few untouchables. You can't take that approach and get much better. Obviously, certain guys on the team are untouchable, but generally speaking, they're not young kids."
• The Mariners on Tuesday signed veteran free-agent infielder Miguel Cairo, 33, to a one-year contract. Cairo split last season between the Yankees and Cardinals, combining for a .253 average with 10 stolen bases in 82 games. "Miguel strengthens our bench by giving us another player, along with Willie Bloomquist, who can cover all four infield spots and, in a pinch, the corners of the outfield," Bavasi said.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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