A bad attitude and a bad shoulder make for a bad investment.
This is probably an unfair assessment of Navan, Ont., native Erik Bedard, who has been sidelined by injuries for the bulk of the past three seasons. He missed the entire 2010 campaign with shoulder woes.
A Cy Young candidate with the Orioles in 2007, Bedard’s stock has fallen substantially in the eyes of talent evaluators. The Cubs are the only team that has been linked to Bedard this off-season.
In his dominant 2007 campaign, the Canuck southpaw recorded 13 wins and set Orioles records for most strikeouts in a season (221) and K’s per nine innings (10.93). When he was mowing down hitters with that type of proficiency, his stubbornness on and off the field could be overlooked. According to an article written by ESPN’s Amy K. Nelson, Bedard was reportedly begged by Orioles officials to make himself more available to the media. But despite their pleas, Bedard remained surly and abrupt with reporters. Nelson described Bedard’s dealings with the media as “horrible at best, and non-existent at worst,” dubbing the southpaw as “rude, standoffish and disinterested.” She reported that Bedard would often offer a Barry Bonds-like “Stupid question, next” response to reporters or walk away from media scrums after a few questions.
In fairness to Bedard, he grew up in a French-speaking family just outside of Ottawa. One has to wonder how much of his surliness can be attributed to not being entirely comfortable speaking English. It has also been reported that his teammates have generally liked him.
Seattle Mariners fans have little time for the Canadian left-hander. The Mariners dealt five players to the O’s for Bedard in February 2008. In the past three seasons, the enigmatic lefty has rewarded them with just 30 starts.
I don’t pretend to know Erik Bedard the person. Apparently few people do. What I do know is that when he last pitched in 2009, he was effective, compiling a 2.82 ERA in 15 starts. I can’t help but think that if he’s healthy, he could help a team in 2011. But it’s safe to say that if Bedard hated dealing with the media in Baltimore, he would rue the day he signed with a big market club like the Cubs. Various blogs have suggested that Bedard might be a good fit on the Indians, Nationals or Orioles. An incentive-laden deal with one of those small market clubs seems to be the best option for a guy whose perceived to have a bad attitude and a bad shoulder.