Erik Bedard fails to win starting job with Rays

According to his agent, Canadian lefty Erik Bedard reportedly will use the opt-out clause in his minor league contract to find a starting job elsewhere in the majors after failing to win a starting job with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Canadian may go to triple-A or seek pitching job elsewhere

Erik Bedard, who hails from Navan, Ont., lost out on his bid to be the Rays' fifth starter to begin the major league season after sporting a 6.88 earned-run average in five spring training games. He was released Tuesday and will look for work with another major league team. (Tom O'Neill/Charlotte Sun/Associated Press)

Now that Erik Bedard has failed to win a rotation spot with the Tampa Bay Rays, where will the Canadian pitch next?

It could be at triple-A or with another major league team looking to address some injury concerns.

The Tampa Tribune spoke with Bedard’s agent, Mark Pieper, and reported the left-hander from Navan, Ont., will use the opt-out clause in his minor league contract to find a starting job elsewhere in the majors.

"The opt-out is just because a lot of guys have been hurt [across the major leagues]," Bedard said. "I think probably everybody would do the same thing. If nobody gets hurt, I'd go with the flow and if I go to triple-A, I'll go to triple-A."

The Rays have yet to comment on the situation while manager Joe Maddon told reporters Bedard needs to do what is best for him and his family.

“He has our full support with all of that,” Maddon said. “If it were not to happen, selfishly, we’d love to have him back.”

The opt-out clause doesn’t take effect until March 31, which coincides with the opening day of the regular season.

If Bedard was to leave Tampa, there wouldn’t be any hard feelings as he has enjoyed his brief time with the Rays, calling the organization a "breath of fresh air."

Odorizzi named 5th starter

Jake Odorizzi beat out Bedard and Cesar Ramos for the final rotation spot and will fill in for Jeremy Hellickson, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow in January and has set June 1 as the target for his return.

The No. 5 job seemed to be his until the first day of spring train when Tampa signed Bedard to a one-year minor league contract.

The 35-year-old Bedard sported a 2-2 record and 6.88 earned-run average in five games this spring, including three starts. He allowed 25 hits and 13 earned runs in 17 innings while allowing opposing batters to hit .342.

Bedard acknowledged his numbers didn't look great in Friday’s 5-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays when he 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.

"I thought it was better than my other outings," he said.

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.

Two years ago, Bedard went 7-14 with a career-worst 5.01 ERA in 24 starts for the Pirates.

From 2004 to 2007, he was 40-34 with the Orioles, winning 15 games in 2006. He was just as impressive the following year, when he was 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA in 28 starts.


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