Bedard fills Red Sox rotation need

The Boston Red Sox have acquired left-handed starter Erik Bedard and reliever Josh Fields in a three-way deal involving the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Red Sox traded catcher Tim Federowicz and right-handed pitchers Juan Rodriguez and Stephen Fife to the Dodgers, who completed the deal by trading center fielder Trayvon Robinson and Chih-Hsien Chiang to the Red Sox. Boston then sent Robinson and Chiang to the Mariners.

By acquiring the left-handed Bedard, the Red Sox get the pitcher they wanted for the back end of the rotation without giving up much. Bedard, 32, was 4-7 with an ERA of 3.45 and a WHIP of 1.172 in 16 games started with 87 strikeouts and 77 hits in 91⅓ innings pitched. In his 16 starts for the Mariners this year, only three times did he give up more than three earned runs in a start. Bedard will pitch at 88-92 mph with a solid curveball and effective changeup. He is a health risk, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure of pitching at Fenway Park. He certainly gives the Red Sox much-needed rotation depth, and for what they gave up (very little), Bedard is worth the gamble.

The Mariners get a solid center-field prospect in Robinson, who has the ability to steal bases and is a plus defender. Robinson has surprising power and is a quality line-drive hitter. He is prone to strikeouts, but has tremendous makeup. Chiang, 23, was hitting .338/.399 with 36 doubles, 18 home runs and 76 RBIs at Double-A Portland of the Eastern League. His swing is a little long but he makes sweet-spot contact when he gets a pitch he can handle.

The Red Sox also get Fields, 25, who was the Mariners' first-round selection in the 2008 draft and was the closer at the University of Georgia. I saw him as a free agent, and he had a great arm but never had good mechanics. He could never repeat his delivery and was the type of pitcher that radar-gun scouts loved but pitchability evaluators hated. If he can develop command and control, Fields could someday pitch out of the Red Sox's bullpen.

The Dodgers acquire Federowicz, a good defensive catcher who can catch, throw and frame pitches well. His bat doesn’t have the potential to make him any more than a future major league backup. Fife, 24, was 11-4 with a 3.66 ERA with a WHIP of 1.394 at Portland. He has a 92-94 mph fastball and flashes an occasional average curveball. Rodriguez, 22, was 2-4 with a 5.19 ERA with an impressive 88 strikeouts in 59 innings pitched at Class-A Greenville of the South Atlantic League. He has a good arm to go with an impressive pitcher’s body, but he needs to work on his secondary pitches. He improves the Dodgers' minor league inventory of bullpen arms.


Red Sox: B-

Dodgers: B-

Mariners: C+