M's acquire pitcher Erik Bedard from Baltimore
The long-awaited -- and long-delayed -- acquisition of Erik Bedard by the Mariners is finally done. The Mariners this afternoon officially announced completion of the trade that brings left-handed pitcher Bedard to Seattle in exchange for outfielder Adam Jones, reliever George Sherrill and minor-league pitchers Chris Tillman, Tony Butler and Kam Mickolio.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The long-awaited -- and long-delayed -- acquisition of Erik Bedard by the Mariners is finally done.
The Mariners this afternoon officially announced completion of the trade that brings left-handed pitcher Bedard to Seattle in exchange for outfielder Adam Jones, reliever George Sherrill and minor-league pitchers Chris Tillman, Tony Butler and Kam Mickolio.
"During the offseason we have been focused on improving our pitching staff and adding a front-line starter," general manager Bill Bavasi said in a statement. "Erik Bedard gives us that power arm that will complement the rest of our pitching staff. We are very excited to bring this caliber of pitcher into our organization."
The final hurdle for completion of the deal, which has been in the works for nearly two weeks, was for Bedard to pass the physical that took place over the past two days in Seattle.
With that accomplished, the Mariners add one of the top pitchers in the American League.
"It feels great," Bedard said at an afternoon news conference. "I've been with the Orioles since '99, so to go to a new organization, and see a different aspect of the game from a different team, is pretty fun."
Asked to assess the Mariners, he quickly replied: "Good leadoff guy. That's the big thing I remember, because he [Ichiro] hit a first-pitch-of-the-game home run off me. Everyone else, they're solid. They have good hitters, good pitching. With the addition of me, I think we're going to be pretty good."
Bedard, who turns 29 next month, went 13-5 with a 3.16 earned-run average in 2007. Despite missing the final five weeks with an oblique strain, he set a Baltimore franchise record with 221 strikeouts in 182 innings.
"Adding Erik to our rotation strengthens our club in a number of areas," said manager John McLaren. "He not only adds a top-of-the-rotation starter to our club, but he also makes our bullpen a lot stronger. It is going to be fun heading into spring training with these five starting pitchers."
The Mariners give up a large package of young talent in return, led by Jones, who had been slated to be Seattle's starting right fielder. In Baltimore, Jones will likely take over in center and be a key piece of the rebuilding campaign being undertaken by team president Andy MacPhail.
Jones, 22, hit .314 with 25 homers and 84 runs batted in for Class AAA Tacoma last season. In 41 games with Seattle, he had a .246 average with two homers and four RBI.
Sherrill, 30, will compete for the closer's job with the Orioles. As a left-handed specialist with the Mariners in 2007, he was 2-0 with a 2.36 ERA in 73 appearances. Sherrill limited opponents to a .179 average, and his average of 11.04 strikeouts per nine innings was four-best among AL relievers.
Tillman, who turns 20 in April, is a 6-foot-5 right-hander. He was 6-7 with a 5.26 ERA in 20 starts for Class A High Desert in 2007, and 1-4, 3.55 in eight starts for Class A Wisconsin. He was a second-round draft pick in 2006. Butler, a third-round pick by the M's in 2006, is a 6-foot-7 left-hander. He went 4-7 with a 4.75 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) for Wisconsin.
The 6-foot-9 Mickolio didn't play high school baseball in Bozeman, Mont., and was an 18th-round pick in 2006 by Seattle out of Utah Valley State College. The right-hander was 3-1 with a 1.82 ERA in 18 relief appearances for Class AA West Tennessee in 2007, and 3-3, 3.75 in 14 games with Class AAA Tacoma.
The trade seemed imminent on Jan. 27, when Jones was pulled from the Venezuelan winter league playoffs by the Mariners and told a reporter from Diario Panorama he was heading to Baltimore as part of the Bedard trade. But the Orioles abruptly canceled Jones' physical, setting into motion a confusing series of delays that pushed back completion of the deal until today.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 08:52 AM
Hundreds attend funeral for fallen Mich. player
UPDATE - 09:40 AM
Norway's Tarjei Boe wins men's biathlon at worlds
NEW - 08:46 AM
Tripoli ruled unsafe for international soccer
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.