There was some interesting news this week. Thursday night the list of non-tenders were released. Not surprisingly, Jose Lopez won't be returning. His trade to Colorado for right-hander Chaz Roe. Lopez may have more luck in Coors Field, and Roe a former first round pick, stuck in Colorado Springs, may find that his breaking ball has more bite closer to sea level. Honestly I didn't expect anything to come from the Lopez debacle, and that he would be non-tendered, so getting a bag of balls in return would be a bonus. I wish him well in Colorado, and believe that he could have taken a few more pitches and walked a bit more, he'd still be here.
The other subtraction from the Mariners is Ryan Rowland-Smith. The big Aussie was not offered a contract to his liking so he took a walk. Coming off a godawful 1-10 season in which Hyphen was arguably the anti-Cy Young Award winner, he turned down a guaranteed contract that apparently did not give him a shot at a starter's job. Up to him. I know he's working hard to get ready for the season. He's a good guy, close to the fans through his blog and Twitter accounts, someone I hope can bounce back and have a nice career. He's a middling talent who won't be a star, but could help a team out of the bullpen.
Neither the Lopez or RRS deals were surprises. However signing Erik Bedard to a make good minor league deal was. Larry Larue of the Tacoma News Tribune wrote an interesting column about Bedard's decision to sign with the Mariners, despite the fact there were offers for guaranteed deals on the table. It shows that Bedard has pride and integrity, which many questioned during his struggles to stay healthy. Signs are that he'll report to Spring Training healthy and ready to pitch. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
What does adding Bedard to the Mariners rotation mean? Here are a couple of major assumptions:
- Bedard is healthy and one of the best five pitchers to come out of Spring Training
- Michael Pineda is the real deal and ready to become a major league pitcher