Pittsburgh Pirates: Erik Bedard Will Be Great Deadline Trade Bait

Collin O'ConnorCorrespondent IMay 4, 2012

Erik Bedard is currently 2-4 on the season, but maintains an above-average 2.65 ERA.
Erik Bedard is currently 2-4 on the season, but maintains an above-average 2.65 ERA.Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates pitching staff has been up there with the best of the National League so far this season, but the team has struggled to get wins with a mediocre-at-best lineup. Thus, as the season gets into the middle of the summer, several Bucs pitchers could be eligible to be shopped around.

One hurler who could stand out for teams looking to add another veteran pitcher going into the postseason is Erik Bedard.

Just 2-4 on the season, teams should not let his record push them away from this acquisition. The 34-year-old pitcher, who has several years of Major League experience, has maintained a 2.65 ERA in his first six starts, but has an average record because of the low run support he receives when on the mound.

Additionally, with all of the strikeouts he throws and 37-14 strikeout/walk ratio on the season, he ranks 12th in the MLB in DIPS (Defense Independent Pitching Stats).

And, in the final year of his contract, this is a guy who the Pirates may be looking to sell once this season gets closer to the trade deadline. Consequently, this will allow a playoff team to pick him up, with just a $4.5 million, one-year commitment to the team.

The only visible downside is that he has very little playoff experience. Being brought up through the Baltimore Orioles system and then moving on to Seattle, the only time he has ever been in contention for the postseason was last year when he started eight games for the Boston Red Sox.

In those starts, he went 1-2 and maintained a 1.55 WHIP and 4.03 ERA.

Overall, this is definitely someone for teams in the playoff race to keep an eye on. Whether it's the Braves or the Nationals looking to add another arm to help their arsenal this season, or the Indians looking to separate themselves from the pack if they stay atop the AL Central, several teams could use a veteran pitcher like Bedard down the stretch.

Playing for a team that does not look to be capable of a playoff run, he may be available to acquire when the trade deadlines begins to near.