As expected, the Seattle Mariners offered binding salary arbitration to free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, but declined to make the same offer to left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard.
The team doesn't expect Beltre to accept - he has until next Monday to decide - and may still try to entice Bedard to return to the Mariners rotation.
By offering arbitration to Beltre, who made $12 million last season in the last year of his five-year contract, the Mariners stand to gain a draft pick from any team signing him this winter. And, of course, it leaves open the possibility that Beltre could return.
Bedard has drawn attention from a half dozen big-league teams, but any deal he signs will likely be a one-year contract heavy with performance incentive. Coming off a second shoulder surgery in as many years, Bedard pitched 83 innings last season - two more than he'd pitched in 2008.
When healthy, Bedard pitched well in his two years in Seattle, going 11-7 with a 3.34 earned run average. After having his labrum repaired in August, Bedard isn't expected to be ready to pitch before May.
Beltre, 30, was never the offensive force he'd hope to be, in part because of Safeco Field, but his defense was spectacular. Over his five years with the Mariners, he batted .266 and averaged 20 home runs and 79 RBI.
If neither returns to Seattle, the Mariners have no established players to replace them. Beltre's spot at third base might be taken by rookie Matt Tuiasosopo, or journeymen Bill Hall or Jack Hannahan.
Bedard, a No. 2 starter behind Felix Hernandez, is likely to be replaced in-house by Ryan Rowland-Smith.