On the day he passed his physical and agreed to a contract to return to the Seattle Mariners, Erik Bedard played catch at Safeco Field, raved about the Northwest weather and went unrecognized at Starbucks.
"Nobody recognized me at Starbucks," he said. "No one ever does. It's great."
Bedard agreed to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2011, something he said meant a lot to him when he and general manager Jack Zduriencik talked.
"The second year is like this one, for a base salary and incentives," Bedard said. "But it means if I pitch well and stay healthy, I'll be here the next two seasons."
The key to his passing the physical was a strength test on his surgically repaired left shoulder.
"Once I passed that, I pretty much knew I was good," Bedard said. "I've been throwing for three weeks, I threw today for 10 minutes from about 75 feet. Man, the sun was out - it's a great day here."
Bedard, coming off two seasons where shoulder surgery kept him off the mound, has 51-41 career record in 141 starts and is 11-7 with a 3.24 ERA as a Mariner.
"I know most people don't think they got much from me the first two years," Bedard said. "It wasn't what they wanted and it wasn't what I wanted. I've pitched pretty well when I've been healthy."
Clearly, the Mariners think they can get Bedard healthy and back on the mound in 2010, whether it's May - which he hopes - or later into the year.
"We've got a heck of a team and I'm glad to be part of it," Bedard said. "Right now, it's just a matter of being patient and doing the work. I have no idea how fast I'll go from what I'm doing now to throwing off a mound again - that's up to the doctors and trainers.
"I'm just enjoying the weather today."