MLB: Seattle brings back Bedard, sends away Lopez
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) – Erik Bedard, surprisingly, and Josh Wilson are coming back to Seattle. Jose Lopez is on his way to Colorado. And Ryan Rowland-Smith is a free agent.
It was a busy Thursday night for the Mariners, highlighted by the decision to bring back Bedard, their oft-injured left-hander who has never matched his potential, with a one-year deal. The contract is a non-guaranteed deal, meaning Seattle doesn’t pay Bedard anything unless he pitches in a game this season.
Seattle also tendered contracts to closer David Aardsma, reliever Brandon League and left-handed starter Jason Vargas.
Considering Bedard’s past two years, pitching in a game will be quite the accomplishment. Bedard hasn’t been able to stay healthy following his trade from Baltimore before the 2009 season. He hasn’t pitched since the middle of the 2009 season and started just 30 games in three seasons with the Mariners.
Seattle turned down an $8 million option on Bedard last month. Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said during a conference call late Thursday night that all reports on Bedard are positive and that he’ll get a chance to make the club out of spring training.
“I think under the terms we bring Erik back it gives us an opportunity and it gives him an opportunity to where it could be a win-win for both sides,” Zduriencik said.
While Bedard’s return is a bit of a shock, the departure of Lopez in one form or another is of little surprise.
Seattle had turned down a $4.5 million option on Lopez, signed as a free agent in 2000. He hit .239 with 10 homers, 58 RBIs and 29 doubles in 150 games this year for the Mariners, who used him as a third baseman. He also has played second.
But Lopez regressed from his career highs of 25 homers and 96 RBIs in 2009 and never seemed to match his potential throughout his Seattle career.
Roe, 24, a first-round draft pick in 2005, was 9-13 with a 5.98 ERA in 27 starts this year at Triple-A Colorado Springs, striking out 115 and walking 53. Zduriencik was high on Roe’s youth and his strong sinker.
“You just get to a point where you have to make a decision, make a call,” Zduriencik said of Lopez. “There are points here where he was a very nice player, but we have to move forward.”
Rowland-Smith was expected to lock himself into Seattle’s rotation coming into the 2009 season, then went 1-10 with a 6.75 ERA in 20 starts in 2010.
Seattle offered Rowland-Smith a chance to return on what Zduriencik said was “their terms.” He said Rowland-Smith was offered a major league contract and a chance to make the club out of spring training, but chose to look elsewhere.
“We had our parameters set up and talked about giving (him) a chance to come back and be part of the organization but it would have to be on our terms,” Zduriencik said. “As they thought through it, in the end, Ryan decided what our terms were not necessarily what his terms were.”
Wilson started last season at Triple-A Tacoma, but played a career-high 108 games with the Mariners. He batted .227 with 14 doubles, two homers and 25 RBIs. Wilson played 98 games at shortstop.
Wilson was originally claimed on waivers from San Diego in June 2009.