Erik Bedard won’t be pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays when the regular season opens next week.
The American League team on Tuesday cut the Canadian left-hander after he failed to win the fifth starter’s job, according to the Tampa Tribune. He had made it clear he didn’t wish to pitch out of the bullpen.
Bedard, 35, had an opt-out clause in the one-year minor league contract he signed on the first day of big league spring training, allowing him to seek an opportunity with a major league club if things didn’t work out with the Rays.
But that clause didn’t kick in until March 31, so Tampa has expedited the process for the native of Navan, Ont.
There’s still a chance Bedard could return to Tampa but it would probably be at the triple-A level.
He had a 2-2 record and 6.88 earned-run average in five games this spring, including three starts. Bedard allowed 25 hits and 13 earned runs in 17 innings while allowing opposing batters to hit .342.
He acknowledged his numbers didn't look great in Friday’s 5-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays when the lefty yielded four runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings. But he said he felt good, getting his breaking balls over for strikes and his fastball reaching 92 miles per hour.
Bedard went 4-12 with a 4.59 ERA in 32 games (26 starts) for Houston last season. He is 67-76 overall in 10 seasons with Baltimore, Seattle, Boston, Pittsburgh and the Astros.