Spring Training is just around the corner and the Mariners will open camp with high hopes, expectations and a few question marks. Speaking of questions, if you have any queries, send them in and we'll do our best to answer as many of them as possible.
What ever happened to Erik Bedard? You would think the Mariners would try keeping him if they could. When healthy, he is one of the best. Did the Mariners even try to talk to Bedard? Thanks. -- Lloyd K., Port Orchard, Wash.
Quite a few people tried to talk to Bedard the past two seasons, but he's not the talkative type. Nor, apparently, has he been healthy, spending more time on the disabled list than he did on the mound.
As investments go, the Mariners took one on the chin with Bedard, paying him nearly $15 million (and five players, including All-Stars George Sherrill and Adam Jones) for 30 starts.
My guess is that the only way Bedard, a free agent, returns to Seattle is with a visiting team. I keep hearing the Orioles, who traded him to the Mariners, might bring him back. I don't see the Mariners in his future, especially coming off shoulder surgery in back-to-back seasons.
It's probably best for both sides to just turn the page and move on.
Being from Ohio, I have been following Ryan Feierabend's career pretty closely and I was wondering if he had a chance to make the Mariners' 2010 Opening Day roster, possibly in the rotation? -- Dylan P., Shiloh, Ohio
The 24-year-old left-hander missed all of last season following shoulder surgery, but he recently said that his health is 100 percent again and he's looking forward to competing for a roster spot during Spring Training.
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The first thing he has to do is prove that he is healthy and that's something that probably won't be determined during Spring Training, but early in the regular season when the innings and pitch-count increase.
He's still young enough to have a good big league career, but I would be surprised if he comes out of camp as one of the five starters. My crystal ball shows Triple-A Tacoma.
What's the deal with Mike Carp? I know that the Mariners brought in Casey Kotchman, but it seems like they've not given the kid a chance. What does his future look like on this team? -- John A., Chicago
It's just a guess, but I imagine Carp is wondering the same thing you are, John. The Mariners are building a team around pitching and defense and Kotchman, so I've heard, is a great defensive first baseman.
He just might save as many runs with his glove, scooping up throws into the dirt or catching balls destined to become base hits, as he will with his bat. The Mariners have not had that kind of first baseman since John Olerud departed.
Carp is best known for his offense. I love his swing and his makeup, two things that can take him far in this game. But what he needs more than anything right now, it seems, is patience. His opportunity eventually will come and he has to get himself ready to jump on it.
Even though the Mariners have made a lot of good moves during the offseason, they still need a big bat, someone who could hit around 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs. Who will be the candidate for big bat? -- Sangyoon K., Seoul, South Korea.
That kind of hitter is not readily available and very expensive, so I wouldn't anticipate general manager Jack Zduriencik, as much as he would like to, adding a 30-HR, 100-RBI hitter.
I keep hearing that someone like Xavier Nady, a right-handed hitter with some power, is a possibility, but even he might be too expensive. My tabulations indicate that the player payroll budget is getting close to being reached.
With having two true No. 1 starters in the rotation with Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee, who do you think will be the No. 1 starter? I am just thinking about what John McLaren did with Bedard and Hernandez a few years ago. -- Ryan Thayer, Syracuse
As the American League's Cy Young runner-up this past season, I would think Hernandez gets the ball as the Mariners' Opening Day starter against the Athletics on April 5 in Oakland. Felix definitely has earned the "ceremonial" start, and as long as he's healthy, I believe he'll be the Opening Day starter.
The way I look at it, the Mariners now have a No. 1 and No. 1A in Hernandez and Lee and except for Opening Day, perhaps, it really doesn't matter who's at the top of the rotation.
As much as I like and respect McLaren, I think he made a huge mistake when he tabbed Bedard as his Opening Day starter before camp even opened. The decision backfired big-time. Felix felt slighted, and rightly so, and we all know the Bedard story.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.