It took only a few minutes for the first Erik Bedard email arrive. Today, the Mariners declined an option on Bedard, making the left-handed starter a free agent. Could he work as a risk-reward signing for the Yankees?
Sure. But the Yankees already have a lot of high-upside starting pitchers fighting for rotation spots in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Trenton. Obviously Bedard is a different sort of pitcher, but he comes with more or less the same level of uncertainty as a prospect. Is he really a better option than Ivan Nova? Maybe. Maybe not.
Truth is, every non-Cliff Lee free agent starting pitcher comes with some level of uncertainty.
Bronx Baseball Daily came up with a list of Lee alternatives. It begins with Hiroki Kuroda and ends with Pedro Martinez, which says a lot about the market. The trade market — beginning with the idea of making a deal for Zack Greinke — comes with considerable unknowns.
MLBTradeRumors posted lists of left-handed and right-handed free agent starters. There are some upside options with plenty of talent, but Lee is the only reliable option who’s obviously available. The rest, like Bedard, bring as many questions as answers.