After avoiding arbitration with ace Felix Hernandez, the Mariners also avoided arbitration with left handed starter Erik Bedard and right handed reliever Aaron Heilman. Bedard will get paid $7.75 million next season, with $650K incentives. Last season, Bedard was paid $7 million, and had 6-4 record on first year with the Mariners.
Bedard was acquired from the Orioles for George Sherill, Adam Jones, Chris Tillman and two more minor league players. This move, so far, is considered as terrible move for former GM Bill Bavasi.
Sherill is now the closer of the Orioles, Jones is starting left fielder, and Tillman is the Orioles top pitching prospect.
Two minor league players the Mariners gave up, Kam Mickolio and Tony Butler, may make the majors in few years. Only way for the fans to consider this trade was worth triggering, is Bedard to pitch like he did for the O's. The fans want to see 2007 Bedard, when he struck out 221 hitters.
I personally love Tillman, and believed that he will be a starter pitching right after King Felix, and this trade made me think that was it worth giving Tillman up for injury prone Bedard? And so far, this trade is not satisfying me.
Heilman, who was acquired from the Mets in J.J. Putz trade, is the closer candidate for the Mariners. Heilman has 3-8 record with 5.21 ERA in 2008 for the Mets. He will compete for the closer job, with Tyler Walker, and Miguel Batista.
The Mariners acquired reliever David Aardsma from the Red Sox for a minor league player Fabian Williamson (Williamson's stats in the minor is on this site. Aardsma was designated for assignment by the Red Sox last week.
Aardsma posted 5.55 ERA for the Red Sox last season. He did pile of K's, but he lacked control. He will try to make the opening day roster for the Mariners, in 2009. This move won't help the bullpen a lot, but the Mariners might have surprise, like they had with Roy Corcoran.
Hope Aardsma will turn out to be like Corcoran. Corcoran may close, if all the candidates don't satisfy new manager Don Wakamatsu.