Erik Bedard agrees to sign with Rays

Erik Bedard has joined the Rays in what appears to be a depth signing.
Erik Bedard has joined the Rays in what appears to be a depth signing. (USATSI)

MORE: FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers

The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to sign free agent left-handed starting pitcher Erik Bedard, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The deal comes just a day after the Rays added right-hander Nate Karns via trade (they sent backup catcher Jose Lobaton to the Nationals for him), so the additions of pitching depth continue.

Bedard will turn 35 before the 2014 season begins (March 5 is his birthday). He was 4-12 with a 4.59 ERA, 1.48 WHIP an 138 strikeouts in 151 innings last season for the Astros. Back in his Orioles days, he was very effective (finishing fifth in 2007 AL Cy Young voting), but injuries derailed his career.

Still, Bedard could have a few quality stretches left in the tank. In five starts from May 11 to June 3 last season, for example, Bedard had a 2.79 ERA in 29 innings. In fact, we could extend it out to July 25 (from May 11) and he had a 3.44 ERA in 14 starts.

Not that the Rays will be counting on a heavy workload from Bedard in the rotation from out of the gate. David Price, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi comprise the rotation as things currently stand. Jeremy Hellickson should be back in May, too.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered the last six World Series beginning with the epic 2011 Fall Classic. The former Indiana University... Full Bio

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