Erik Bedard had been having one of the worst seasons of his career when the Pirates decided to release him Monday night, but it still seemed a little bit odd to cut ties with the veteran starter so abruptly -- especially with rosters expanding in just a few days.
But as Bucs Dugout argues, with Pittsburgh just three games back in the Wild Card race, the team simply couldn't continue to put the lefty on the mound over the season's final month:
Bedard failed to go five innings in 14 or his 24 starts and while he produced a WAR of 1.4 (fangraphs) most of that came in the first half. Add in the fact that Bedard hasn't pitched out of the bullpen since 2004 and maybe there is no point in having him around.
Bedard hasn't been effective, and with every game of the utmost importance, the Pirates couldn't afford to waste any more hoping he came around, so they removed him from the rotation. Since he wouldn't be of much use to the bullpen, either, they'll add someone else to the roster that can have an effect. Bedard's contract is of the one-year variety, so releasing him won't have any long-term drawbacks for Pittsburgh management.