Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
July 18, 2008 4:58 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
NOTE: To Joey, I've answered your questions lower down in the post.
You can pretty much scratch Erik Bedard off any remaining trade scenarios. Just got done talking with Mariners manager Jim Riggleman and he said Bedard did not throw over the All-Star Break -- after being told not to if he felt discomfort in his shoulder -- and has been shut down for the next few days. That means, at the earliest, he may start playing catch again on Monday, then on Tuesday if that goes well.
A bullpen session? Likely not until a few days after that. So, at this rate, the most he'll make in terms of starts before the July 31 trade deadline would likely be one. That's not going to get a deal done. Not the kind that brings you back anything in returns.
Riggleman didn't sound overly optimistic about getting Bedard back on a mound before the deadline.
"He didn't come out of the break feeling significantly better,'' he said. "Hopefully by Monday he's ready to play some firm catch and we'll go from there. If he's not...''
Riggleman didn't finish. He didn't have to.
"We're not looking at trying to pitch him before the 31st,'' he said. "It's really all going to be based on how he feels. The 31st is kind of irrelevant when a guy's got a tender arm.''
Remember, Bedard hasn't pitched since July 4.
So, anyway, there you go. By the way, speaking of guys who missed yesterday's workout, I was wrong in telling you Arthur Rhodes also got delayed because of a flight. In fact, Rhodes had permission from the team to skip yesterday's workout. The only guy with such permission. He was not delayed. So, I gave you the wrong info about that. My apologies.
Good debate in the comments section today over the Ichiro conundrum. As you can see, there are no easy answers (under the assumption, of course, that he's not moving back to CF next year, since the team has already said the physical toll impacted his offensive production and Ichiro himself has made clear he prefers RF. That won't change by 2009). Just one thing I'd like to clear up, based on comments I've seen: Ichiro is the furthest thing from being a problem for the media. He's the first guy out in the clubhouse talking after every game. Says he feels it's his responsibility. Interpreter or not, who cares? He talks to everyone. I can't personally remember him turning me down for an interview, including last week's comments over his decision to skip the Home Run Derby. Don't know of a media member who has a problem with him for issues like that, or his use of an interpreter. The idea being spread about, that the media has it in for Ichiro because he's not a good quote, or makes life difficult for reporters, is laughably out-of-touch with present-day goings-on within the team's realm and being a tad unfair, to both the player and the media.
On with the team, it looks like those Jose Vidro critics out there -- pretty much all of you -- will be getting their wish. Riggleman confirmed today that Vidro's playing time is going to be vastly reduced now that Bryan LaHair is up with the team.
Miguel Cairo plays first base tonight. The M's have four lefty starters in a row facing them, so LaHair won't get much early playing time. Kenji Johjima is going to see more time at DH, with Jeff Clement doing the bulk of the catching from here on in. Jamie Burke catches tonight, the first time he's handled Hernandez since early April.
But Burke won't be doing much catching from here on in. And Vidro? I'd say he's gone after the trade deadline.
Not sure why he's still here, unless the team feels he'll get hot and convince a trade partner he's a worthy pinch-hitter. But it's tough to do that without getting a lot of ABs. If teams go off what he's shown to-date, there isn't much in terms of production -- as we've noted ad nauseum all week.
"He's kind of like Burke,'' Riggleman said. "He's getting the short end of the stick right now.''
For Joey in the comments thread, there are several answers to your questions that tend to tie-in with one another. Number one, it was up to the Mariners to figure out Bedard's health status before trading for him. Not up to the Orioles to disclose every and all detail (not that I have evidence they hid anything). The Mike Sirotka case involving the Blue Jays and White Sox in 2001 clearly reaffirmed the precedent of caveat emptor, or "buyer beware" in baseball. Sirotka was traded to Toronto for David Wells and a bunch of secondary guys going both ways. The Blue Jays tried to nullify the trade when they found Sirotka had a bad elbow (he never pitched again). But the commissioner's office upheld the deal and vindicated Chicago GM Kenny Williams, saying it was up to the team trading for Sirotka to do its due dilligence beforehand.
Same thing applies here with Bedard.
The second part of your question, about Bill Bavasi finding a GM job. I think he goes the route of the Toronto GM who botched the Sirotka deal, Gord Ash. Like Bavasi, Ash made several questionable trades and signings and ultimately lost his job because of Sirotka. He never found a GM job again, but has worked happily for years as the assistant GM of the Milwaukee Brewers. I think Bavasi has the skills, both people and baseball-wise, to hold a high-level front office job again. His GM days might very well be done. He's had two chances in two cities. But I don't see why he would not find work.
As for Bedard ranking up there with Barry Zito, or Chan Ho Park, no way. At worst, he's only in Seattle for two years at an average salary cost for pitchers. Zito will cost over $100 million. Yes, Seattle gave up some good players for him, but it's gotten some good pitching so far (limited good pitching, but good pitching nonetheless). Not even close to the Zito or Park scale.
24 Grady Sizemore CF
1 Casey Blake 1B
12 Ben Francisco LF
2 Jhonny Peralta SS
17 Shin-soo Choo RF
10 Kelly Shoppach C
20 David Dellucci DH
30 Andy Marte 3B
13 Asdrubal Cabrera 2B
32 Aaron Laffey LHP
51 Ichiro RF
16 Willie Bloomquist CF
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
4 Jose Lopez 2B
13 Miguel Cairo 1B
2 Kenji Johjima DH
15 Jamie Burke C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
34 Felix Hernandez RHP