Erik Bedard (Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons)
The Pittsburgh Pirates are taking their chances on Canadian left-hander Erik Bedard.
The Pirates confirmed the signing of the southpaw from Navan, Ontario to a one year deal worth $4.5 million on the weekend. Last year, Bedard went 5-9 with 125 strikeouts and a 3.62 earned run average with Seattle and Boston. The Pirates are hoping Bedard can rekindle his magic with the Baltimore Orioles, where he won a combined total of 28 games in 2006 and 2007. Unfortunately, he has ran into an abundance of arm issues since, but can be a productive pitcher if healthy.
In other moves, the Toronto Blue Jays acquired outfielder Ben Francisco (.244, 6 HR, 34 RBIs) from the Philadelphia Phillies for a minor leaguer. Don’t expect Francisco to be in the Blue Jays’ lineup everyday.
The Milwaukee Brewers, who lost Ryan Braun for fifty games to steroid use and are expected to lose Prince Fielder to free agency, signed Aramis Ramirez to a 3 year deal worth $37 million. Ramirez, a third baseman, batted .306 with 26 home runs and 93 runs batted in with the Chicago Cubs in 2011.
Also on the weekend, the Oakland Athletics traded starting pitcher Trevor Cahill (12-14, 147 K, 4.16 ERA) and reliever Craig Breslow (67 G, 0-2, 3.79 ERA) to the Arizona Diamondbacks for three minor leaguers who are expected to play a key role in Oakland in 2012.