Originally posted on The Voice Says...  |  Last updated 12/7/11
The Pirates have come to terms with free agent starting pitcher Erik Bedard on a one year deal.  The deal is worth $4.5 million.  It's a low-risk high upside type deal for the Pirates and I do commend them for it.

If Bedard is healthy, he can be a top of the rotation type of guy for a Bucco rotation that is lacking top end talent.  The problem for Bedard is he rarely makes it through a season unscathed.  You have to go back to 2006 to find the last time Bedard went through a season without an injury.

He's been a full time starting pitcher since 2004.  He averages 18.5 starts per season,  Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers made 34 regular season starts last year, so that should give you a good feel for how many games Bedard has missed.

For his career he has appeared in 168 games and started 165 of them.  His career W-L record is 56-50 and he's put up 926 strikeouts in about 950 innings of work.  He has a strong 3.70 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in his exclusively AL career, and those numbers could get better in the National League.

I've always though Bedard was an intriguing possibility for Pittsburgh mostly because he's a risky signing who could pay off big time.  I usually spend a late round pick on him in my fantasy baseball drafts, and the time he is healthy he puts up great numbers.  I just draft extra depth for those times when he goes on the disabled list.

His years with Baltimore in 2006 and 2007 are what standout the most to me.  He went 15-11 for a crappy Baltimore team and had 171 strikeouts, while putting up an ERA/WHIP combo of 3.76/1.35.  He got even better in 2007 when we went 13-5 with a 3.16/1.09 and an eye popping 221 strikeouts.  That's the type of numbers that draw you serious consideration for the Cy Young award.

There's never been a question about his talent, just his durability.  Even in the face of this problem, I'm glad to see the Pirates take this risk.  It's exactly the type of signing they need to make. 
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