Rays sign LHP Erik Bedard to minor-league deal

Erik Bedard has a career 3.94 ERA. He went 4-12 with Houston last season.

David Richard/David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays added to their pitching depth Friday, signing left-hander Erik Bedard to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.

Bedard, 34, is a career 67-76 with a 3.94 ERA in 224 appearances. A native of Navan, Ontario, he made his major-league debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 2002, and he has also pitched for the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros.

He was 4-12 with a 4.59 ERA in 32 appearances (26 starts) with the Astros last season. He was expected to appear at Charlotte Sports Park on the first day of Rays’ spring training Friday, though he wasn’t seen during media availability in the Rays’ clubhouse.

Andrew Friedman, the Rays’ executive vice president of baseball operations, predicts Bedard will compete for Tampa Bay’s fifth rotation spot made vacant when right-hander Jeremy Hellickson underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow Jan. 29. Hellickson is expected to miss the first six to eight weeks of the regular season.

A bullpen role also is possible for Bedard.

"He’s a guy we have liked in the past," Friedman said. "We’re anxious to get him in here and be around him more. He’ll come in to compete for the fifth starter job. I don’t know how that will transpire, but he’s also a candidate to potentially pitch out of the pen."

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