Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Erik Bedard has been released, finally some accountability

Last year when the Pittsburgh Pirates released Lyle Overbay, I was surprised but I just took it for what it was worth. While Overbay was due a lot of money last year, there was a decent amount of roster turnover last year and once Derrek Lee was acquired there really was no need for Overbay. Now the Pirates have released Erik Bedard. I am honestly stunned that they did it. But while I am stunned, I am thrilled but they need to handle it the right way.

Bedard was signed a one year contact worth 4.5 million dollars in the offseason which is a relatively large dollar amount for the Pirates. Outside of April, Bedard did not pitch to that contract at all. This is a move that should have happened at least a month ago but at least it happened. Finally, the Pirates are holding their free agent signings accountable for their performance. This is unheard of to me. I've seen worse players, much worse, last entire seasons just because they were due a certain amount of money.

Now this move has a move attached to it that is equally as important. They have to decide who is going to take Bedard's spot in the rotation. If they put Kevin Correia into that spot, it totally defeats the purpose and they might as well have just kept Bedard. Not because Correia wouldn't be better than Bedard. He very well could be. It would be hard to be worse. It would be bad because putting Correia back in the rotation contradicts everything that the organization has done this year.

What do I mean by that? Let's go back to the trade deadline and look at who the Pirates acquired. Take Chad Qualls out of the equation because he's probably the next one to be sent packing. Travis Snider and Gaby Sanchez are both players who have organizational control. They help this team beyond this year. Before the year even started, they gave Andrew McCutchen a contract extension. Management knew what reasonable fans knew all along and that is that this year was not going to be this team's best chance. They will be better in the future. But what does that have to do with Correia? It has everything to do with him. He is a free agent after this year. He's not coming back. You could argue that he should probably be cut too. He does nothing to impact the future. But Jeff Locke does. Kyle McPherson does. Phil Irwin might. Even Chris Leroux has more of a future with this club than Correia does.

Losing Bedard does literally nothing to hurt this team. Just his absence probably helps them. The same could be said for Correia and Rod Barajas if you wanted to analyze other past free agent signings. I think the only thing saving Barajas' spot on the roster right now is the fact that Eric Fryer would be just as bad. Correia gets saved just because he hasn't been consistently awful all year like Bedard was. But we don't need to see him again. This organization has options. Options that are ready to contribute. Options that are better than Kevin freakin' Correia.

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