MLB Trade Speculation: Will the Pirates Deal Erik Bedard at the Trade Deadline?

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2012

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The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Erik Bedard to a one year, $4.5 million contract this offseason. The Pirates will either move Bedard at the July 31st trade deadline or resign him after the season is over. 

Bedard is 0-4 with a 2.63 ERA so far this season. He also has a WHIP of 1.42. 

Despite not receiveing more than five runs in support or recording a win this season, Bedard has been rock solid in all four of his 2012 starts. 

If Bedard has been so good, why would the Pirates move him?

Because the Pirates have a surplus in their starting rotation, but some glaring holes at important offensive positions. 

Last season, the Seattle Mariners traded Bedard to the Boston Red Sox at the trade deadline, in a three-team deal. The Mariners received Trayvon Robinson from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chih-Hsien Chiang from the Red Sox

At the time, Robinson was considered the Dodger's No. 10 overall prospect according to Baseball America.

Grabbing a player of Robinson's caliber is a solid return for an oft-injured southpaw. Bedard is in the middle of his second healthy season, and would fetch the Pirates something similar. 

Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in most major offensive categories. Their offense needs a shot in the arm that their farm system cannot give them. A legitimate middle-of-the-order bat would be exactly what the doctor ordered. 

Contending teams are always looking for capable starters for their postseason runs. This could lead a team to overpay for a pitcher of Bedard's potential.

Grabbing a top-10 prospect would be tough to turn down if you're Pittsburgh. The Pirates' farm system has improved by leaps and bounds, but their are still flaws. 

The Pirates should trade Bedard for the first legitimate catcher, first base or shortstop prospect offered.

Ideally, the Pirates land a bat capable of clearing the bases.

If the Pirates are out of contention in July, trading Bedard makes sense. Signing the southpaw pitcher to another deal in the offseason does not seem realistic, so you may as well get something in return.

I don't think Bedard is wearing a Pirates uniform by August 1st. He's one of the Pirates' best trade pieces.

Pirates GM Neil Huntingdon should look to improve his team's lineup, and help his overachieving pitching staff continue their success.