Boston Red Sox: Is Erik Bedard a Better Option Than Rich Harden?

Erik ManzelliContributor IIAugust 2, 2011

SEATTLE - JUNE 15:  Starting pitcher Erik Bedard #45 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Safeco Field on June 15, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Why would the Red Sox back out of deal for injury prone pitcher Rich Harden only to trade for Erik Bedard? 

It doesn't make sense.  Does anyone else see how inconsistent the team's thinking is?

What are the differences between Bedard and Harden?  Both guys are small for pitchers.  Rich Harden is listed as 6'1" 195 lbs while Bedard checks in at 6'1" 200.  Each pitcher hails from Canada.  Their respective track records are so horrible it makes you queasy.  The Red Sox definitely needed another body.  Let's face it, Clay is a sunk cost.  If HGH and steroids were legal I would say force feed him both and pray he can make it back.  I don't deny the teams needs another arm to replace Clay, but Erik Bedard is not the answer.

He's too risky from a health standpoint.  I hope I'm wrong, but I have no faith this trade will work because I doubt Bedard stays healthy.  But it healthy, then I'm confident he'll be a fine pitcher.  The Red Sox lineup is stacked and their defense is more than adequate.  Run support and good defense won't be a problem. 

More red flags: Bedard has been in the league since 2004 and has only one season where he's made more than 30 starts.  ESPN reported he's had season ending shoulder surgery for three straight years and he didn't pitch at all in 2010.  Also, former teammates of Bedard say he doesn't like media attention, shies away from the pressure of being an elite starter and gets claustrophobic with intense scrutiny.

Theo's idea to pick up low risk high reward pitchers like Bedard is understandable, but not very effective. John Smoltz, Bartolo Colon and Brad Penny were the last few question mark pitchers they've signed, and how well did those turn out?  Not so good.  On paper I can see why the team thought they could get something out of Andrew Miller.  He's a 6'7" lefty that's still only 26 years old.  He was rushed to the majors before he was ready and hasn't quite lived up to expectations.  Some of his starts have been OK, but he's been wild and inconsistent at times. 

I believe Theo should have stuck with young prospects rather than trading for outside guys.  I'll be happy if they decide to give Felix Doubront and Kyle Weiland a chance.  I trust they would pitch well if they got regular turns in the rotation.  The Red Sox have the hitting and defense to give them all the support they'll need.

At this point, that's water under the bridge.  Now I can only cross my fingers and pray Bedard's shoulder can hold up.