Rays sign Erik Bedard

Bob Levey

The 10-year veteran will join a young rotation in Tampa Bay.

The Rays have agreed to sign veteran left hander Erik Bedard, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. The 34-year-old starter pitched with Houston last season, posting a 4.59 ERA in 151 innings for the Astros. He has a career 3.94 ERA over his 10-year career with the Astros, Pirates, Red Sox, Mariners, and Orioles.

Tampa Bay isn't the first team to take a flier on Bedard. His past success, most notably a fifth-place finish in AL Cy Young voting in 2007 with Baltimore, has earned him several chances to reestablish himself.

He has to varying degrees, but injuries have held him back since the beginning of his career. He never pitched more than 200 innings in a season -- a myriad of injuries has contributed to his abbreviated career. He's struggled to some extent over the last two years, but he's continued to show teams that he can put up better-than-replacement-level numbers if given an opportunity.

Bedard will join David Price, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, Chirs Archer, and Jake Odorizzi in the discussion for the Rays rotation. Bedard's relative fragility and short-term status might relegate him to occasional relief work, but Tampa Bay appears to have signed him as a contingency plan if one of their young starters struggles.

If he can limit base runners and provide the team with quality innings as a starter and a reliever, Bedard could represent the next iteration of the Rays' impeccable ability to find bargains on the open market. The risk for injury is certainly still there, but signing Bedard won't cost the club much, and he could be extremely useful for a team with designs on a return to the postseason.

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