Examining the Bedard Trade

Randy LermanContributor IJuly 8, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 27:  Erik Bedard #45 of the Seattle Mariners talks to catcher Rob Johnson #32 before he is taken out of their game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum on May 27, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Before the 2008 baseball season, the Orioles traded staff ace Erik Bedard to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for five players. Headlining the deal was stud prospect Adam Jones and reliever George Sherrill. The Orioles desperately needed a closer when Chris Ray would not be able to play in the upcoming season. Sherrill was predominantly a set-up man during his tenure in Seattle and performed at a high level in that role.

Jones was drafted as a shortstop but was shifted to the outfield by Seattle. The other pieces in the trade were three pitchers: Tony Butler, Kam Mickolio and Chris Tillman. Tillman has huge upside as a potential top-of-the-rotation starter, while Mickolio profiles as a bullpen guy. Butler is currently injured, but I am sure will be given a chance to be part of the Orioles' future.
Overall, I think this was a brilliant move by the Orioles. They took advantage of Erik Bedard's breakout year and got a strong haul in return. A year and a half after the deal, the Orioles have reaped the benefits of Sherrill and Jones being All-Star selections in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
Bedard, the other side of the deal, had an injury plagued first year in Seattle but has pitched very well in 2009 when healthy. This year is big for Bedard because he will potentially become a free agent at the conclusion of the season.
This trade was supposed to propel Seattle over the LA Angels of Anaheim into first place in the American League West division. Furthermore, it would have given Seattle a lethal one, two punch at the top of the rotation with a maturing "King Felix" Hernandez and Bedard.
Bedard has pitched twice against the Orioles this year. The first start resulted in a win for Seattle as Bedard was definitely on his game. Bedard was on a pitch-count for last night's contest since he was coming back from injury. He did show his velocity and movement as there was a point where he struck out four Orioles hitters in succession.
Looking back, this trade definitely worked toward helping the present and building the future for the Orioles franchise. Seattle has control over its destiny with Bedard and it comes down to whether they believe he can be that go to starter they sought.