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02/06/10 11:09 AM EST

Mariners bring back lefty Bedard

Veteran had 2009 season cut short due to injuries

Left-hander Erik Bedard has passed his physical and signed a one-year contract with the Mariners.

Bedard, who will turn 31 on March 5, had season-ending surgery (performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum) on his left shoulder on Aug. 14, 2009. He is expected to be ready to pitch sometime this season.

The contract, which has a $1.5 million base salary and up to $6 million in incentives, also includes a mutual option for 2011.

"We think Erik is an important piece for us to add," general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a news release. "We're confident he'll be ready to pitch Major League games this season. We've carefully monitored his recovery from surgery and his rehabilitation process and are confident he'll be a contributor to our 2010 campaign. We are looking forward to him returning and being a part of this organization as we move forward."

Bedard allowed two earned runs or less in 13 of his 15 starts with Seattle last season, and allowed three earned runs in the other two starts. He was 5-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 15 starts with Seattle overall. He struck out 90 batters while walking just 34 in 83 innings. He had two stints on the disabled list, spending June 17-July 7 on the 15-day DL with inflammation in his left shoulder, and returning to the DL on July 26 (and missing the remainder of the season) after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder which revealed an inflamed bursa and a torn labrum.

"My first choice was to return to Seattle, so I'm very happy to get this done," Bedard said in the release. "I like the moves the team made this winter, and I'm looking forward to when I can get back on the mound and help them this year."

Bedard has a career record of 51-41 with a 3.81 ERA and 801 strikeouts in 822 innings pitched. He spent the first five years (2002, '04-07) of his Major League career with Baltimore prior to being traded to Seattle before the 2008 season. With the Mariners, he is 11-7 with a 3.24 ERA in 30 career starts.

At the end of this season, the Mariners have the option of offering Bedard a contract for 2011. He can either accept or decline the offer. If he declines, he becomes a free agent. If the club declines, Bedard would receive a buyout and become a free agent.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Mariners designated right-handed pitcher Yusmeiro Petit for assignment. The Mariners now have 10 days to trade, release or outright Petit to the Minors.

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.