Rays release Bedard
The Rays granted LHP Erik Bedard his release on Tuesday so the veteran can seek a major-league job elsewhere.
If he doesn't get one, the Rays would like to have him come back and pitch at Triple-A Durham, providing depth that is needed more following the 50-game suspension RHP Alex Colome received.
"I'm hoping that he gets another job on the major-league level, but if not that he would come back to us,'' manager Joe Maddon said.
The Rays have also informed the players competing for the final roster spots of their plans - although subject to change over the next few days - and will announce that after the game.
"It's been very difficult,'' Maddon said. "We've talked about the thickness of this group regrding talent, and beyond talent, wonderful people, good guys that fit. So conversationally this is about as tough as it gets. Honestly, I mean that. It's as tough as it gets with this group.''
Maddon said Bedard showed he still could be an effective big-league pitcher, but if he didn't find a job hoped he would rejoin the Rays.
"You just have to look at the other teams that need starting pitching right now,'' manager Joe Maddon said. "And if it doesn't work out he'll have to make his choice. I would like to believe that if it doesn't work out based on our relationship we've built here he'd want to come back to us because we really would like to have him back.''
Maddon said the Rays could "always" use more starting pitching options, with RHP Nathan Karns currently the leading option if they need more help. "The more depth you can build up the better off you are,'' he said.
Even more so with Colome, who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, unavailable until late May. "He's a guy that we were counting on in that particular role, being the sixth or seventh starter, or the eighth starter, going into this camp,'' he said.