Astros Sign Erik Bedard

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Lefty joins the Astros on a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

The Houston Astros signed left-hander Erik Bedard today to a Minor League contract with a Spring Training invite, according to USA Today reporter John Perrotto.

Bedard last pitched with the Pittsburgh Pirates as their Opening Day starter in 2012, but was released in August.

With the Pirates, Bedard posted a 5.01 ERA in 125.2 innings. His FIP and xFIP were almost a full run below his ERA and his .314 BABIP was higher than his career .302 BABIP. His 66.5% LOB% was also below average so some positive regression is in Bedard's and the Astros' favor next season.

Since 2002, Bedard has pitched 1,077 innings for the Orioles, Mariners, Red Sox, and Pirates, with a career record of 63-64, 3.85 ERA, and 1,044 strikeouts to 429 walks.

Bedard has had varying degrees of success against American League West opponents:

Oakland Athletics, 11 starts 2.73 ERA

Texas Rangers, 15 starts 3.49 ERA

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 9 starts 4.89 ERA

Seattle Mariners, 5 starts 5.46 ERA

General Manager Jeff Luhnow calls Bedard's chances of making the Opening Day roster "strong good."

It should be noted that he has never pitched more than 196 innings in a single season, and has thrown fewer than 150 in each of the last five years.

Still, as recently as 2011, he has been a 2+ WAR pitcher, according to Fangraphs. Never blessed with an outstanding fastball, his velocity dropped below 90 in 2012, but he's managed strikeout rates above 8 batters per nine innings, partially thanks to a cutter, as well as a curveball that he throws to both lefties and righties.

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