I've been mulling this over from time to time for a few days, but since Dave already went ahead and said it on radio before I got a chance to put it in writing, I'll go ahead and give him the credit.
In the current debate over Erik Bedard, it'd be easy to label one side as people who just want to win in the present and forget about the future, and the other as people who just want to forget about the present and win in the future. But this is a mischaracterization. Everybody wants the Mariners to win in the present. They just differ on how much they're willing to give up in order to make this team better.
With that in mind, let me be the...
second third...to say that, were there a potential deal for Bedard that didn't include Adam Jones, I'd be all about it. Obviously I'd still have my limits (I'm not interested in giving away the other nine in our top ten), but if Baltimore were offering us Bedard in exchange for four or five non-Jones young players, I'd sign the papers and walk away smiling. He'd be a huge boon to the starting rotation, and with Jones still hanging around, we'd be in good position to give the Angels a run for their money.
I don't want to sit here and re-write everything Dave already said; you should listen to the link. But what it comes down to is that, if you want to win now, at this point you need to have Jones. The alternatives are either old and declining and old (Gonzalez), not ready yet and worse overall (Wlad), or not on our radar (everyone else). Trading Jones+ for Bedard fills one hole on the roster but opens another, one that wouldn't be easy to address. And that's not something this team ought to be doing if it wants to make a run at a title in 2008.
Erik Bedard is a terrific pitcher, and I'd give a lot to get him. I just wouldn't give the other guy we need in order to make this whole "win now" thing a reality.