Erik Bedard waits on Rays' move

Updated: March 19, 2014, 1:58 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Veteran left-hander Erik Bedard says he will opt out of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays if he doesn't make the team's rotation.

"There's a lot of starters who have been hurt so there's a lot of chances and I'll probably go somewhere else," Bedard told reporters Tuesday, according to the Tampa Tribune. "Every day it seems like a starter goes down. There's a lot of opportunities out there if I'm not on the team."

Bedard's opt-out clause kicks in March 31, the opening day for most teams.

The 35-year-old Bedard is 2-1 this spring with a 7.15 ERA in 11.1 innings. Opponents are hitting .347 against him.

Bedard is vying for the No. 5 spot in the Rays' rotation, with Cesar Ramos and Jake Odorizzi also in the competition.

Manager Joe Maddon said he will likely make a decision on the fifth starter Saturday, the day after Bedard is scheduled to make another start for Tampa Bay.

Maddon also said the Rays won't stand in Bedard's way if he opts to leave.

"We would not want to hold him back if he was not chosen," Maddon told reporters, according to the Tribune. "I really like this guy, I talked about it. He's really ingratiated himself to a lot of us in a very brief period of time. He's a professional. He's definitely still good. It's one of those things that if in fact he wasn't a fit for us and he hears from somebody else, you want him to be able to take advantage of the opportunity."

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