Erik Bedard: Sox add pitching depth

Erik Bedard is 4-7 with a 3.45 ERA this season.

The Red Sox finally made their move for starting pitching depth, acquiring left-hander Erik Bedard yesterday from the Seattle Mariners for four minor-leaguers.

But did they only add to their depth of injury-prone starters?

Bedard, who was 4-7 with a 3.45 ERA in 16 starts for the Mariners this season, is expected to make his Red Sox debut against the Indians either Wednesday or Thursday.

When he does — provided he can navigate the unfamiliar streets of Boston en route to Fenway Park — he will be making his first post-July start since 2007. Such has been the fate of the oft-injured 32-year-old since winning 28 games between 2006-07. You name it, Bedard has hurt it: Elbow. Shoulder. Hip.

With Clay Buchholz’s back still not right after six weeks on the disabled list, the Red Sox felt compelled to act. They originally tried acquiring the equally brittle Rich Harden from the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, but even the desperate Sox balked at placing postseason hopes on Harden’s tattered shoulder.

But will Bedard be the answer? He missed four weeks with a sprained left knee before returning to the Mariners’ rotation Friday. In his return, Bedard — a free agent after this season — was pounded for five runs against AL East rival Tampa Bay.

For the Red Sox, the move was low-risk, giving up four prospects: Catcher Tim Federowicz, pitcher Stephen Fife and outfielders Juan Rodriguez and Chih-Hsien Chaing.

Perhaps the most intriguing name in the deal is the other player the Red Sox received: right-hander Josh Fields, a 2008 first-round pick of the Mariners. Fields could find a career revival with the Red Sox, just like Andrew Miller.


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