After losing out in his bid to win the fifth spot in the rotation, Bedard elected to look for another Major League job, so the Rays gave him his release. Maddon said he was surprised Bedard did not find a job.
"He's still got a lot left, there's no question about that," Maddon said. "He just needs a little more time to sharpen up. And having him at Triple-A is good for us."
Veteran infielder Mike Fontenot also was signed to a Minor League deal on Friday after he was released by the Nationals. Fontenot was in Rays camp last spring and played in 120 games at Triple-A Durham during the regular season.
"That's great," Maddon said. "You know all that kind of stuff counts. That kid's outstanding. Loved him last year in camp. I was told last year in Triple-A he had a tremendous impact on the players. The staff there was raving about him."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.