Source: Mariners, Bedard close to deal

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The Mariners are close to finalizing a one-year deal with left-hander Erik Bedard, one major-league source confirmed to

Bedard's 2009 season ended early because of shoulder surgery. One source said Thursday that he might be ready to pitch in May; another said it would be June.

Either way, he won't address the Mariners' need for starting pitching depth at the beginning of the season.

It's now less likely that Seattle will bring back free agent Jarrod Washburn -- but not impossible. Washburn has a very good relationship with Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair. That could be a factor in where Washburn signs.

Bedard's familiarity with the Seattle medical staff may have been a key consideration in his return there for 2010. He spent the last two seasons with the Mariners.