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By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: USA Today
As has now been officially announced moments ago, the Pirates have signed left-hander Erik Bedard to a one-year, $4.5 million deal.  The 32-year old went 5-9 last season with a 3.62 ERA in Seattle and Boston.  He has a career 3.70 ERA in his eight MLB seasons.
The Bucs have been searching for a left-handed starter to complete their pitching rotation, after declining the option on Paul Maholm.  While Bedard’s potential is great, there is the worry about his health.  His injury history includes shoulder and elbow surgery, knee, hip, and MCL issues, among others.  As long as he’s healthy, he’ll aid the team.  A left-hander pitching in PNC Park?  Great numbers are possible.
That being said, regardless of how this works out, this is a rare offseason move that we, as fans, are not used to seeing from our Buccos.  This deal is a risk, no doubt about it.  The guy has great stuff, though, and has the capability of giving shutdown performances.  For once, I’m excited by an offseason move the Pirates have made.  It will be very interesting to see how this plays out, but either way, it’s a bold move by Pirates’ management to go after a quality player. 
Bedard will join Kevin Correia, James McDonald, Charlie Morton, and Jeff Karstens in the Pirates’ projected starting pitching rotation for 2012.
In other news, the Pirates just announced that Jason Jaramillo has been designated for assignment by the team to make room for Bedard.  Pedro Ciriaco has also been DFA’d to make space on the roster for Nate McLouth, whom the Pirates have now officially signed as well.
As rumors become confirmed and news breaks, stay tuned in to Fans From The Stands for all the reactions to the Winter Meetings’ transactions.
And…
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!