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BALTIMORE TRADES ACE TO SEATTLE

The Orioles on Friday traded Erik Bedard, one of baseball's top starting pitchers last season, to the Mariners for five players, including one of baseball's top hitting prospects.

In return for the left-hander who struck out a franchise-record 221 in 2007, Baltimore got centerfielder Adam Jones and pitchers George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Tony Butler and Kam Mickolio.

Bedard, 28, last year went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA. He led the majors in strikeouts until a rib injury ended his season in late August. The Orioles began shopping Bedard after failing to sign him to an extension. He can become a free agent after 2009.

"We are getting one hell of a player," Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said.

Last year, Jones, 22, hit .314 with 25 homers at Triple A. Sherrill, 30, had a 2.36 ERA as a setup man but could close with Hillsborough High's Chris Ray out for the year with Tommy John surgery. Tillman, 19, was Seattle's minor-league pitcher of the year while at Class A. Mickolio, 23, reached Triple A while Butler, 19, was at Class A.

"I hope it will contribute mightily to the foundation of future success," said Orioles president Andy MacPhail, who also got five players from Houston for shortstop Miguel Tejada. "Regretfully, to accomplish that and to get something meaningful, you have to give up something meaningful."

Schilling's doctor says surgery is necessary

FORT MYERS - Curt Schilling's doctor says the only way he can pitch again is through surgery on a torn right shoulder tendon. Boston says the tendon is damaged, not torn, and rehab gives him the best shot to play this year.

"Instead of being a single tendon, it's like three pieces of spaghetti or linguine," Schilling's doctor, Craig Morgan, said. "I think his chance of coming back to pitching with rehab or a conservative approach is zero."

A third doctor, the Mets' David Altchek, said the tendon is torn but surgery would probably sideline him for the season.

Schilling, 41, who signed an $8-million deal for what he said will be his final season, will go with Boston's preference. But Morgan hinted he didn't have a choice.

"They would not approve him having surgery," he said. "According to the collective bargaining agreement, if they don't approve it, they don't have to pay him."

Boston declined to comment.

Foulke back: Keith Foulke, out from 2005-07 with various injuries, signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the A's. Foulke had 190 saves in 11 seasons, 43 for Oakland in 2003. He auditioned for about 20 teams last month and also considered offers from the Diamondbacks, Padres and Mets.

Rays sign catcher

ST. PETERSBURG - The Rays completed their spring roster by adding catcher Matt Spring. With Spring, whose primary role will be lending an extra glove for bullpen sessions, the Rays will open camp Friday with 56 players, the fewest in their 11-season history.

Spring, 23, split last season between Class A Columbus (Ga.) and Double-A Montgomery, hitting .204.

The Rays also announced FSN will air two spring games, March 16 against Detroit and the March 28 Al Lang Field finale against Cincinnati. Twelve weekend games will air on radio.

The Rays are selling several ticket packages but said individual tickets for the March 12 game against the Yankees are gone.

More Rays: Hall of Famers Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken and commissioner Bud Selig will be among Charlie Crist's guests at the revived Governor's Baseball Dinner on Feb. 26 at Tropicana Field. Call (850) 488-8347 for tickets ($100) by Feb. 15. ... Spots remain for Monday's Miracle League Celebrity Golf Classic hosted by former Ray Toby Hall and featuring Mike Alstott and Rocco Baldelli. For information, go to professionalgolfevents.net.

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.

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