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Reports link Rays, Bedard in Minor League deal

Veteran lefty would provide depth; made 26 starts with Astros last season

The Rays are close to signing veteran left-hander Erik Bedard to a Minor League contract, according to multiple media reports.

Bedard, 34, spent last season with the Astros, going 4-12 with a 4.59 ERA. He made 26 appearances as a starter, which marked his highest season total since making 28 starts in 2007 with the Orioles.

Though his velocity has dipped over the past few seasons, with his fastball averaging 89 mph, Bedard would add some needed depth to the Rays' rotation. The team will begin the season without young right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, who had offseason elbow surgery.

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for

Tampa Bay Rays, Erik Bedard