Source: Mariners, Bedard close to deal

The Mariners are close to finalizing a one-year deal with

left-hander Erik Bedard, one major-league source confirmed to

Bedard’s 2009 season ended early because of shoulder surgery.

One source said Thursday that he might be ready to pitch in May;

another said it would be June.

Either way, he won’t address the Mariners’ need

for starting pitching depth at the beginning of the season.

It’s now less likely that Seattle will bring back free agent

Jarrod Washburn — but not impossible. Washburn has a very good

relationship with Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair. That could be

a factor in where Washburn signs.

Bedard’s familiarity with the Seattle medical staff may have

been a key consideration in his return there for 2010. He spent the

last two seasons with the Mariners.