Canadian left-hander Erik Bedard was acquired by the Seattle Mariners from the Baltimore Orioles yesterday in a long-delayed trade for five prospects.
Baltimore received outfielder Adam Jones, who probably will start in centre field on opening day. The Orioles also obtained reliever George Sherrill and pitchers Chris Tillman, Tony Butler and Kam Mickolio.
Bedard, of Navan, Ont., was Baltimore's opening-day starter last year. He joins a rotation that includes newly signed Carlos Silva and holdovers Felix Hernandez, Jarrod Washburn and Miguel Batista.
With Bedard gone, Baltimore does not have an ace or even someone that's a lock to pitch on opening day. Jeremy Guthrie and Adam Loewen of Surrey, B.C., are the top candidates, and Daniel Cabrera might be given consideration.
SURGERY OR REHAB FOR CURT
The doctor who claims he knows Curt Schilling's shoulder "better than anybody who breathes on this planet" insists surgery is the only way the 20-year veteran can pitch again.
But Boston's team physician disagrees. He believes rehabilitation is the best way for Schilling to play this year.
Caught in the middle are Schilling and his $8-million US contract.
"I think his chance of coming back to pitching with rehab or a conservative approach is zero," Dr. Craig Morgan said. "He might not come back after surgery, either. However, if the surgery is successful, he should be fully rehabbed by about all-star break."
WBC COMING TO CANADA?
Canada is a "strong possibility" to host one of the four groups in first-round play at the 2009 World Baseball Classic, a source with knowledge of the tournament's planning told The Canadian Press.
The group, which would include the powerhouse United States, will play its games at the Rogers Centre, home of the Blue Jays, said the source.
Tokyo, Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico are slated to host the other three groups as part of the proposed all-international first round.
Subsequent rounds would revert back to the United States, where most of the inaugural Classic back in 2006 was played.
American sites in the running include L.A.'s Dodgers Stadium, Minute Maid Park in Houston, AT&T Park in San Francisco, Phoenix's Chase Field and San Diego's Petco Park.
An official announcement is likely to come in March.
The San Francisco Giants and right-hander Kevin Correia agreed to a $1,075,000 contract for 2008 ... Left-handed reliever Kent Mercker agreed to a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds ... Pitcher Scott Elarton agreed to a minor-league contract with the Cleveland Indians ... Pitcher Mike Maroth agreed to a minor-league contract with the Kansas City Royals.