The Le Droit report that Erik Bedard is signing with the Pirates has been picked up by what Dejan Kovacevic characterizes as a legit news outlet. Bedard would be getting a one-year deal for $4.5 million plus incentives, and the deal could be done today.
You never really know what's going on with Bedard's health, so there's a chance the Pirates will get nothing here, but I love this move, and it's hard to believe Bedard didn't get any better offers. He managed to pitch 129.1 innings last year and struck out a batter an inning. Many of those starts were in Seattle, which is a great place to pitch, but he's moving to an easier league, and he'll be pitching as a lefty in PNC Park, so if he's healthy, he should be successful. (Hopefully he'll be healthy; he missed the entire 2010 season with a torn labrum, and missed time last season with lat and knee issues.)
It's getting to the point now where I can envision scenarios where Bedard, Charlie Morton and Pedro Alvarez all have healthy and productive seasons, and the Pirates end up being a lot better than we expect. The likelihood of all that happening is very small, of course, and the Pirates still need a first baseman and more starting pitching, but to me, the Bedard signing improves this offseason a great deal.
Oh, and I take back what I said about the Pirates not being able to sign him. Obviously, they're (reportedly) doing it, and they're doing it fairly cheaply. Good for them. This signing is so enormously different from what the Pirates typically do in the offseason, and it's great to see that for once, they're not going with a known quantity with little upside. Or maybe we should express gratitude to Bedard for being open to the Pirates' offer?
UPDATE: MLB Trade Rumors confirms that Bedard and the Bucs have agreed to terms.
UPDATE: Jenifer Langosch writes that Jason Jaramillo has been designated for assignment to make room for Bedard.