The rebuilding Astros keep going back in time. Four days after signing 33-year-old outfielder Rick Ankiel, Houston inked nine-year veteran Erik Bedard on Monday to a minor-league deal with a spring training invite. The 33-year-old left-hander has pitched for Baltimore, Seattle, Boston and Pittsburgh during his up-and-down MLB career. From 2006-07, Bedard combined for 28 wins with the Orioles and struck out 392 batters in 378 1/3 innings. He hasn't won more than seven games since '07, though, journeying to three different teams while struggling with injuries. Bedard posted a 7-14 record with a 5.01 earned-run average in 24 starts last season for the Pirates. Bedard's signing marks another low-risk move by a young Astros team in need of veteran experience. Newcomers Alex White and Philip Humber are tentatively slotted for Houston's 4-5 spots in the starting rotation. Both were inconsistent in 2012, though, and neither are a lock for their planned roles. Like Ankiel, a strong outing during spring training in Kissimmee, Fla., could give Bedard a gameday spot on the Astros in 2013. Bedard's familiarity with the American League — which Houston becomes a part of this season — is another potential bonus.
Astros sign veteran starter Erik Bedard to minor-league contract
Houston Chronicle | Jan 22