NOTE: I'm obviously operating under the assumption that a trade has been agreed to. If this is somehow all a bunch of bullshit, then whatever, nevermind.
That's going to be the title of every post I make for a little while, to serve as a reminder that, as much as it sucks that we're sending AJ+ (and we still don't know what the + is, and it's making me nervous) to baseball's armpit, at least the guy we're getting back is certifiably amazing. Bedard might be the best starting pitcher in baseball. Barring something unforeseen and disastrous, every single person here is going to fall in love with how incredible he is. Plus, he's Canadian, which I think is funny, even though I don't know why. So that's neat.
Incidentally, from an email discussion about the state of our pitching staff last year:
Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 13:38:41 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Jeff Sullivan" <x>
Subject: Re: Bye-bye, Ho
To: "David Cameron" <x>
Can we trade Jones for Erik Bedard or something?
This is a weird day for me. I mean, I don't love the trade at all, but I'm not that upset. Last year, when those two deals went down, at the time I found myself shaking and saying a lot of naughty words. There's none of that right now. I actually feel rather serene.
A big part of it is that I've been treating this as an inevitability for weeks. I mean, this trade has been poked and prodded a thousand times over, and at this point I don't think there's anything anyone could say that hasn't already been said by four other people. I've gotten so accustomed to talking and hearing about it that I guess my psychological response has been diluted over a month, instead of coming out as a focused beam of concentrated emotion the way it did last year when I was taken by surprise. Bedard still hasn't officially been traded, and already it's old hat.
But there's something else at play, here. This isn't like the Vidro/Ramirez trades, or the Sexson/Silva signings. With a lot of the players that Bavasi's brought in over the years, there've been performance concerns. I don't have any of those with Erik Bedard. Bedard is an elite-level talent, the best Mariner since Alex Rodriguez. If he's healthy (which, granted, is a legitimate concern, as Bedard's a bit fragile), he's going to be unfair. This is about as much of a certainty as it can be for any pitcher in the league.
And that's a potent salve. Were I to make a list of the pros and cons here, the pros would be considerably less scientific, but that doesn't make them any less real. I am a big fan of Erik Bedard. I do drool at the thought of having two of the top ten talents at the front of our rotation. I will enjoy having a pitcher who doesn't rely on anyone but himself to succeed. I don't think this is the smartest baseball move, but viewed from the perspective that sports are entertainment, this is going to make our team more fun to watch. That's not insignificant. Erik Bedard is a 6'1 tower of awesome that's going to keep us interested in those games against Chicago and Texas that otherwise wouldn't be the least bit compelling, and for that I'm thankful.
There's nothing to do now but watch Bedard highlights, wait for the official word, and hope that we don't end up losing too much on top of AJ. As long as we're hanging on to Clement and Triunfel, I can't imagine that the final package is going to make me feel any worse. For me, this has always been about Jones. No one else matters nearly as much.
And so we make our move in the slide puzzle that this offseason has become. One hole is filled at the expense of another. I don't like any of the options for RF, but we've known this to be an issue for as long as we've been discussing the trade, so there's no sense in belaboring the point. We'll just have to settle for Wilkerson or Wlad or someone and hope that he's able to keep himself afloat for however long the team's in contention. With luck, that'll be about seven months.
Brilliant baseball decision? I don't think so. But it's invigorating and not dull, and since there's nothing any of us can do about it, we might as well embrace the outcome. Welcome to Seattle, Erik Bedard. Don't mind the disappointment; it's nothing personal. Everybody thinks you're awesome, and here's hoping you can pitch us into October. If anyone can do it, it's you.
Fuck the Angels.