Orioles Will Listen On Bedard
New Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail confirms what we've been reading for the past few months: the club will at least listen to offers for ace Erik Bedard. He adds that the O's have had preliminary, general extension talks with Bedard. I imagine that if Bedard is looking for the $18-20MM per year he could get on the open market, the O's will choose to trade him. Two years of Bedard is at least as good as one of Johan Santana, and Bedard doesn't have any no-trade stipulations. He made just $3.4MM this year.
What are your thoughts on a reasonable package the O's might get for Bedard? The typical Matt Kemp/Clayton Kershaw speculation seems to fit here.
MacPhail also admits that he'd prefer to have flexibility rather than all the long-term contracts the team has committed to. He expects an active trade market, and you can bet the Orioles will be in the middle. Miguel Tejada is likely to be dealt, especially if his name is absent from the Mitchell Report.
Rays' Kazmir May Be Available
The week in hot stove kicks off with a bang: Joel Sherman of the New York Post has a source saying the Devil Rays might listen to offers for ace lefty Scott Kazmir. Kazmir turns 24 in January and carries a 3.64 career ERA despite pitching in the AL East. He's been particularly tough on the Red Sox (2.66 ERA in 101 innings). You have to think that if the Yankees are entertaining making an offer for Johan Santana, they'd consider Kazmir as well if the Rays would deal within the division.
Sherman notes that Kazmir is under contract for three years as opposed to just one for Santana, which could equate the two pitchers in the marketplace. Erik Bedard, under control for two years, has to be in that group of elite, possibly available southpaws as well. Sherman believes the Rays would seek "multiple high-end pitchers" for Kazmir, who is entering arbitration for the first time this winter. The Yankees could offer a package starting with Phil Hughes, but the Mets don't seem to have the goods. It would take a pitcher of that nature - Hughes, Yovani Gallardo, Clay Buchholz. Otherwise, why would the Rays consider it?
Sherman also echoes the surprising notion that Tim Lincecum could be had for the right bat. He speculates that the Giants could pursue Carl Crawford or Delmon Young as the return. Hey, our Delmon speculation is catching on!
Bedard and Kazmir are the type of players the reds should target in a trade this offseason. What is everyone willing to give up to get these players?