According to the Baltimore Sun's beat reporter, Jeff Zrebiec, the contract talks between Erik Bedard's representatives and the Orioles have stalled, which obviously increases the likelihood of a deal between some team possibly taking place.
'The Orioles already have gotten several trade offers for Bedard, who went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA last season and set a franchise record with 221 strikeouts. They figure to get more next week in Nashville, Tenn., though MacPhail said that the cooling of talks shouldn't be taken as a sign that the Orioles are ready to unload Bedard.We all have no idea if the Baltimore will indeed dangle Erik or just keep him in 2008 into 2009, but considering the state that the team is in, if a good deal comes along where you can exchange Bedard or any Oriole for good, young talent - do it.
"I'm not concerned," MacPhail said. "My experience tells me that this isn't unusual. I'd be hesitant to read too much into it."
MacPhail said earlier this week that he and Pieper had been having "periodic" and "conceptual" conversations about an extension for Bedard, 28. MacPhail said that no contract figures were ever exchanged.'
Bedard would fit well with Oriole organization as he is right now one of the top left-handed pitchers in the game and he would be the ace of a young, budding pitching staff; however, since the team seems to be rebuilding completely, you might as well get as much value for a valuable piece like him as you can.
As well, there is one more tidbit from the piece:
'The New York Yankees, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers all have inquired about Bedard, who would be one of the most coveted pitchers available in a market that also includes two-time American League Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana.
According to several industry sources, the Mets' offer for Bedard, which was rejected, included 21-year-old outfield prospect Carlos Gomez, reliever Aaron Heilman, 29, and a third player, believed to be right-handed starter Philip Humber, 24. Gomez, ranked as the Mets' third-best prospect by Baseball America, is clearly the headliner.'
As much as I'd hate to trade Bedard, this trade with the Mets should have been done, assuming it has been tabled.
Granted, we'd lose him, but we'll get three guys who look to be major league ready in return.
However, I'd not trade him to the Yankees at all - I just don't believe in trading premier talent within a division.
Roch Kubatko also had a take on the Bedard talks in his blog, 'Roch Around the Clock':
If you can get young pitchers Philip Humber and Aaron Heilman and elite outfield prospect Carlos Gomez from the Mets in exchange for Erik Bedard, you pull the trigger on that deal. And if you actually show even mild interest in Japanese pitcher (and Yankee bust) Kei Igawa, as the Orioles supposedly did, according to The Journal News’ Peter Abraham, you should be lined up against a wall and blindfolded before that trigger is pulled. No last meal allowed!Roch is right, the Orioles have to take a risk and trade Bedard.
I appreciate team president Andy MacPhail making absolutely sure Bedard won’t sign an extension before any trade is consummated, but I think most of us would agree that the left-hander isn’t going to retire as an Oriole. Unless they overwhelm him with an offer – something in the Barry Zito range that only an idiot would turn down – he’s likely to test the free agent market. I’ll add that this is only my opinion. Bedard hasn’t pulled me aside and said, “I’m outta here!” But I’d wager heavily that he’s gone after 2009, so if the Mets want to hand over Humber, Heilman and Gomez, take them – unless the Dodgers, Mariners or Yankees can do better. And quickly, before the Mets change their minds.
Imagine Bedard wearing Yankee pinstripes. Now sit down and place your head between your knees before you pass out.
The Yankees have outstanding young pitching that I’d scarf like my Thanksgiving dinner if they were willing to give it up for Bedard. Toss in Melky Cabrera and we’re set. But I haven’t seen any signs yet that they’re willing to go that far – as in Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes far.
From what I have seen, unless I am completely wrong, he's not shown a willingness to stay in Baltimore and he may be a guy who just wants to go to the highest bidder.
For the good of the team, any good deal the Orioles yet, they need to consider it and do it. The fans may be upset, but right now, the long term future of the team needs to looked at, not just 2008.