CHICAGO — With the Red Sox, among many other teams, poised to scout Erik Bedard tonight in Seattle, former Baltimore Orioles executive Jim Duquette has some advice for Theo Epstein.
“He’s not a ’spotlight’ guy,” Duquette said of Bedard. “And he’s not reliable from a health standpoint — as we’ve seen. Caveat Emptor.”
Bedard (AP photo) will be making his return from a one-month stay on the disabled list with a knee injury to pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s 4-6 with a 3.00 ERA and has logged 90 innings over 15 starts for the Mariners this season. He had his two best — and healthiest — seasons with the Orioles, winning 15 games in 2006 and 13 games in 2007. Overall, he was 40-34 with a 3.83 ERA in five seasons with Baltimore.
But Duquette, the Orioles’ vice president of baseball operations from 2006-08, said Bedard’s injury history should be a red flag to the Red Sox, who are seeking to bolster their rotation because Clay Buchholz is recovering far more slowly than expected from a strained lower back muscle. Duquette noted that Bedard hasn’t made a start in August or September since the 2007 season. In fact, he always seems to get injured in July, shortly before the trade deadline. And his name has come up in trade rumors in previous seasons.
“To me, it’s a sign he doesn’t want to be traded,” Duquette said. “I don’t know how he fills that void (for the Red Sox) right now. Even if he’s healthy tonight, I would still have some questions.”
Duquette also said Bedard lacks the makeup to be successful in a big market.
“He doesn’t like the attention,” said Duquette, now an analyst for MLB Network. “When he’s the guy, he doesn’t succeed. And I always thought, because he didn’t want to be the guy, that it would hold him back. I thought he’d be a real solid No. 3 (starter), maybe in a small market. But it would concern me going into a big market. After I left the Orioles, I even tried to dissuade a couple of big-market clubs that were interested in him.
“If the price tag was inexpensive enough, it’s something you might consider. But you have to do your homework.”