No need for arb …. yes to Bedard?

The M’s were able once again to settle with all their arb-eligible players, avoiding the whole messy arbitration process. They haven’t had to go to arbitration since 2003 and it’s understandable why it’s to be avoided at all costs, as from what I’ve heard, the process is contentious at best and down right acrimonious at worst. Both sides must submit a number and make a case for it and the arbitrator has to pick one – not split the difference (which is often what happens in settlement). Some ex-players have said that the hearings can be pretty brutal, with the teams doing everything possible to tear the player down in order to “win” and pay the lower figure. Anyhoo, Franklin and Felix obviously settled and signed extensions, but Aardsma, Lowe, League and Kotchman all signed one-year deals (with David and Mark getting significant raises due to their stellar performance last season).

Speaking of one-year deals….

JIM BATES / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Rumors have been for a couple of days about the possibility of Erik Bedard re-signing with the M’s. Still no confirmation from the M’s. But there was this from Erik himself…

Free-agent pitcher Erik Bedard confirmed to a Canadian newspaper that he has agreed to terms with the Mariners on a one-year contract for 2010.

Bedard, who turns 31 on March 5, was in Seattle undergoing a physical examination on Friday. The Mariners’ medical staff was believed to be still evaluating test results on Friday, but an announcement of the deal could come as soon as Saturday, barring unforeseen issues.

According to Le Droit, a Canadian French-language newspaper in Ottawa — Bedard is from Navan, Ontario — the left-hander said he accepted a one-year deal with a base salary of $1.5 million. He can earn considerably more with incentives, likely based on how much he pitches and time spent on the active roster.

The paper quoted Bedard saying he “hopefully” could make “roughly the same” as the $7.5 million he earned last year if he hit all his incentives.

“I am truly happy. It was my first choice to return to Seattle,” he told the newspaper in French. “I think the team will be really good this season. I very much like the direction the team is going.”

Likely, we won’t hear anything for certain until Jack Z and staff return from the Dominican Republic (sometime Saturday, I believe).

But, if there IS a deal and it IS as rumored …
sure seems like a low risk-HIGH reward one to me. There are those who have grown weary of Erik’s, shall we say, surliness. Granted, listening to and/or watching interviews with him can be a bit uncomfortable. His dislike of the media (or, more likely, the whole “process” of the media) is apparent but, I’ve never heard any reports of complaints about Erik as a teammate.

So, here’s to your health Erik – if you can get it back and keep it back, M’s fans will be drooling at the thought of that 1-2-3 punch.

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