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Mulder Signs With Cardinals

UPDATE: It's confirmed - Mulder will return to the Cardinals for a guaranteed contract of two years and $13MM.  Incentives can kick in to make it a three-year, $45MM pact if Mulder makes 30 starts in each of the next two seasons. It's a longshot but it could be done if he returns right in the beginning of May.  He had shoulder surgery in September of 2006. 

Adam Wainwright might be able to remain in the bullpen as a result of the signing.

UPDATE: Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has once source saying Mulder has signed with the Cards.  He's trying to confirm it with more sources.

Mark Mulder could decide tonight between the Cardinals, Indians, and Rangers.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cards have offered two years and potentially $18MM.  The lefty probably won't be ready to pitch until July, but he is looking at two guaranteed years from any of the three clubs.

The Dallas Morning News agrees that a decision is likely today.  The three teams have made similar offers.  If that's the case, I don't know why Mulder would choose to pitch in Texas or even the American League.  The Rangers could snag one of Tomo Ohka, Mark Redman, Tony Armas Jr., Steve Trachsel, or Bruce Chen instead.  The Rangers could use one more guy so as not to have to go with both Robinson Tejeda and John Koronka.

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It looks like the Cardinals have signed Mulder. It is being announced all over the radio & on Fox Sports. Contract is for 2 years, but no other specific numbers have come out. I've heard that the 2nd year could be as much as $12 million (just speculation).

i dont know if im late on this but Jason Johnson is going to pitch in Japan

You know jocketty has been very conservative all off season long, giving mulder 12 million in the second year of this deal is surprising to me, seems more like desperation in a sense. But i mean, the cards staff does need help, i just think jocketty may have gone a bit overboard.

Oh well...

Mulder for three months is better than Looper for six months.

Thanks bird watcher. You hear these reports in person? I'm not seeing anything at Bernie's Pressbox...

http://www.stltoday.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=9

Sorry Birds fans but Mulder is not worth that type of money. He has been a bust since he left the A's. I bet the Cardinals really miss Danny haren right know. They should resign Jeff Weaver, at least they know he is healthy.

Traderjim7

Just a thought...how about we wait and see what the numbers are until we decide Mulder's not worth it. A healthy Mulder is not too shabby.

Mulder is not roster worthy. Maybe a bench spot. But there is always one person who will look at his stats from his A's days and can't help but over bid. I will not be that person. And that is why i will be at the top of my 18 team mixed league. His WHIP alone is going to ruin your team.

Traderjim7

When a pitcher switches from the AL to the NL it usually means better stats. Example Bronson Arroyo. If Mulder can not do it in the NL then he never will.

my bad...i thought it was his worth to the Cardinals and not your fantasy league team that was being discussed.

Congrats on being the champion of the 18 team mixed league.

Mulder certainly has sucked since joining the Cardinals. I mean, in 2005, he posted a record of 16-8 with a 3.64 era. and lets see last year, before getting injured he was had 3.53 ERA. He sucks!

I am sure Mulder is more valuable to the Cards, than he is in fantasy. But i bet that The cards wish they still had Danny Haren. Mulder may not be back to his old self till 2008. All I am saying they should not gurantee him any money. He is not worth it in the long run, fantasy or real life. Mulder is not going to do the Cards any good if he spends all year on the DL. Just my thoughts.

traderjim7

Wait... wait a second. Just wait...

Are you trying to tell us that a player will NOT be of value if he's on the Disable List?

I just don't know where you're coming from with this. You're a radical.

Trader-
They haven't even signed him yet, let alone guaranteed him too much money. Simmer down on the Cardinals bashing, at least until a deal is made.

One positive gamble I see out of re-singing Mulder is this. We can all agree that Mulder's peripherals were great in '02 and prior but have been off ever since. Let's say hypothetically that his current injury is something that has been lingering for a while and he's just now getting things taken care of. If that's the case I think that gives hope to him regaining old form. If not, hey he's still a decent middle of the rotation arm. This doesn't even come close to cracking the top 5 worst contracts of the offseason

The radio broadcaster for the Oakland A's was on a local morning sports show in Springfield, Missouri a couple months ago. He made the statement that Mulder hasn't looked right since his last season in Oakland, stating that this surgery is something that has been a long time coming.

Hopefully he's right and we get a top notch Mulder once he's settled back into his place in the rotation. If we get a good Mark Mulder, even if we pay 18 million, it's better than dulling out the money paid to a Jason Marquis.

"Just a thought...how about we wait and see what the numbers are until we decide Mulder's not worth it. A healthy Mulder is not too shabby.
"

Agreed, I got to see the Mets face Mulder 2 times this year, first game he absolutely shut them down, second game he got shelled, all depends on his health

I would guess that he is guaranteed something like $4M in 2007, and $6M in 2008 with another $8M that can be reached in incentives. If he reaches those incentives, he was probably worth them. If not, $6M next year is pretty absorbable.

As a Cards fan that thinks Mulder is toast, I like this move. He is very welcome to prove it to me after his gets things cleaned up physically.

TJ7, do you need someone to agree with you that the Cards wish they had Dan Haren back? Obviously, that trade blew my ass, I wouldn't mind it if Daric Barton and Kiko were still around either. Congratulations, good call.

We're still scratching our heads over what happened to Bud Smith, Rick Ankiel, or even Matty Mo and Crazy Marquis. Some people are actually paying the latter two big bucks. Woo-hoo.

Anyway, Mulder is welcome to come back and pitch like a number two, this contract seems to be very manageable if he doesn't. The Birds have a (ahem) little bit invested in him at this point anyway.

ESPN is confirming that Mulder has re-signed with the Redbirds for 2 years, $13m. With incentives, he can hit $18m plus a third year.

I guess it was the years/money that must have done it, but I think the best option would have been Cleveland (I am of course biased saying this). From the Indians' stand, they run the risk of losing nothing if Mulder can't get healthy, because they already have a 5-man rotation with two AAA pitchers ready to step in. However, should Mulder prove he can rehab fully this year, he would provide a great reason for the Indians to let Westbrook and/or Byrd walk in FA next year. From Mulder's side, there's a long list of pitchers that signed a short contract with the Indians, had bounce-back years, and got a huge meal ticket from another team when the contract ended.

The Indians didn't NEED him as bad as the Cards did, so I'm not pissed, but dammit if I didn't like the thought of getting Mulder. Especially since he wouldn't have been relied on until next year.

Because the Indians defense is suspect, they play in the AL Central, and there is no continuity of care?

Yeah, probably not his best option.

Nick, all three teams offered similar years/money. He chose St. Louis because it's the smart choice. He's already played there and is comfortable...why would he leave to pitch in a much tougher division, especially coming off significant surgery?

St. Louis has the better team, better pitching coach, better manager, better ballpark, better fans, better defense, world series champs......I could go on and on.

Why was it you said Cleveland would be the better choice? Because of trainers and surgery? Carpenter didn't seem to mind that much....he seems to have done....fairly well....

Mulder for 2@13MM versus Marquis for 3@21MM...... Every Cards fan should be clapping for Walt Jocketty... I think Mulder gets healthy and regains alot of what he lost when he left Oakland... This deal will turn out to be a bargain.....

Why would this allow Wainwright to remain in the bullpen?

The Cards need five starters, if anything Looper (or the newly acquired Ryan Franklin, that happened today as well) will bridge the gap to Mulder. That still leaves a spot open.

Carp
Reyes
Wells
Wainwright
Thompson/Looper/Franklin/Narveson/Garcia/Hawksworth

Mulder just takes over for whoever is not pitching well, that could be any of those last three slots. If Mulder is to be counted on at all, which he shouldn't be.

I don't want Wainwright to stay in the bullpen. Get that man as many innings as possible!!! Our bullpen is still good with him in the rotation, and he will develop into a very good starter. Carp/Mulder/Reyes/Wainwright would look pretty decent for the playoffs.

is he good enough to be a starting pitcher? from what I saw he looked like the perfect bullpen arm...unleash as much as hell as possible with each pitch.

When the offseason began, I wanted nothing to do with Mulder. He hasn't been that great since we got him, and with him out until mid-season, I wouldn't have touched him with a 10 ft. pole.

But after missing out yet again on the major guys, I think this is a good move. I would still like us to sign Weaver, and I think if Weaver goes anywhere else it'll be the end of his career for good. If there is one Cards fan here that is ok with Looper starting for the entire year, please reply to this. I'm not even comfortable with him being the everyday set-up man! I would almost rather put Wainwright in that role to groom him some more until Izzy leaves or retires than to run Looper out there and cross our fingers. I used to hate keeping Wainwright in the 'pen, but his pitches may best suited for 1-2 innings, rather than 6-7.

Back to Mulder to wrap up though, I think that at worst he'll be at least as good as Meche and/or Lilly, in which case we got him at half price. Remember, the market is crazy now, and he WILL be back. The only way this is overpaying is if he never pitches an inning. Better $6.5 mil/yr than trading away prospects for Pavano right?

Just about a month until Ps and Cs report!

40 days or so right???

33 days for pitchers and catchers I believe. Holla.

Red24, don't worry, Blooper won't start unless the shit hits the fan, and in that case, there are much bigger problems.

We aren't even close to budget this year, there is still plenty of wiggle room for a trade or whatever (not that that's likely now that the brass feels like it has Mulder in it's hip pocket.. which sucks). If we have to pay him $6.5 in 2008 before we part ways, whatever. That's manageable. His incentives only start building at 21-35 starts next year, that's doubtful that in itself, the full contract will never be reached, here's how it probably breaks down from what I've gathered:

2007 - $5M base, up to $11.525M based on incentive threshold.

2008 - $6.5-$11.525M base, up to $15.275M based on incentive theshhold

2009 - base option at $11-$15.27M, another $3.75M in incentives? That would make the salary possibly ~$19M.

So the Cards are on the hook for 2/11.5 and a $1.5M buyout. That could be a lot worse in this market.

If he can meet every incentive and the Cards pick up the 3rd year option in 2009 that would put his contract amount at $45.795M total.

Since all of the base salaries stairstep based on the previous years, it is unlikely to ever reach that point, and even if it does there is a $1.5M buyout if the Cards want to walk away.

Secondly, him earning $27M over the next two years is extremely remote. That would mean that he makes over 60 starts between now and the end of 2008.

If he never throws a pitch, it's no big deal. If he makes those 60 starts you can decide on the monster option. The Cards are very protected.

Good starters are more valuable than relievers, it's a good thing that Wainwright will be looked at in that capacity this year. Reyes, Wainwright, Thompson, Hawksowrth, and Garcia may provide a bunch of cheap good pitching for the foreseeable future, that's appropriately the most valuable commodity in the MLB.

this is a good signing for the cards. in the later stages it is expencive though. If the cards can get jeff weaver to take a little less money, we would be in set.

Carp
Weaver
Reyes
wainright
wells

then when mulder comes back he slides into wainrights spot. next year wainright takes over wells spot.

Well, I'll give you the comfort level factor. There seems to be nothing GMs can do to lure pitchers away from teams they've meshed well with.

Defense? The Cards have a better infield defense, hands down. But I think the Indians are very much improved with Blake getting most of the PT at 1B, Barfield, and Marte. As for the OF, I saw one poster describe Duncan's fielding ability as someone who "looks like he's trying to solve a Rubik's cube while getting strafed by World War I biplanes" (I wish I could properly credit that, cuz it's damn funny). Of course if we're talking pitchers here, it's the IF defense that matters. So point to the Cards.

I can't disagree with you that for a veteran pitcher with most of his career behind him, the Cardinals are a good choice.

However:
"better ballpark, better fans"
Are we talking aesthetic value in ballpark here? I can't see how Mulder would care. If we're talking park factor, I don't have those numbers, but I do know the Jake is a mod. pitcher's park.
As for the fans, what quantitative analysis to Cards fans have to always suggest they have better fans than anyone else? Is it 455 consecutive sellouts? Cuz the Indians hold that record. Again, either way, can't see how Mulder would care.

"Carpenter didn't seem to mind that much....he seems to have done....fairly well...."
Ugh, whenever it comes down to training, every Cards supporter points out Carpenter. One guy. Look at the Indians history in the past four years. Look at so-so and injured pitchers that signed with the Indians and went on to get huge contracts afterwards because of a great turnaround. Also, look at this stat: 7 missed starts in 2 years for the entire staff.

In the end, though, seems Mulder just felt more comfortable in St. Louis.

I'll give you this on the ballparks: That's a helluva view past the outfield when you're sitting behind home plate. And sure, the Cardinals are a better team. But then again, I wonder how 78 wins in the AL Central matches up to 83 wins in the NL Central.

Apparently, 78 in the AL means an earlier draft pick and 83 in the NL can get you a ring...

Nick, the cards brass did a good job on turning Matt Morris around after his "Tommy John "surgery.

I agree that Cleveland has great fans and the "Jake" is an awesome ball park. However, Mulder has family from Chicago, he's well recieved in St. Louis, and despite 83 wins last season, the cards have been one of the top 2-3 teams in baseball every year since 2000. With the exception of Duncan, they have excellent defense aqnd I believe a much healthier Rolen and Edmonds to complement Albert Pujols, not to mention a strong bullpen.

I'll still stand by every point that I made. The ballpark is better because it is newer and probably more fun to pitch at. Obviously the cards have a better manager and pitching coach. They are the better team because they are the world champions. You really need to stop looking at the records. I am a CUBS fan, so don't call me a Cardinals supporter. This is a totally objective opinion. But come on, answer this.

Would you go to a team that that a worse manager, worse pitching coach, regressed last year, plays in the same division as the White Sox and Tigers, and is somewhere you have never played?

Or, would you go to the place where you are comfortable, they are WORLD CHAMPS, have one of the best Managers EVER, a GREAT pitching coach, play in a weak division, play in the NL (so your numbers are going to be better), and have a brand new ballpark where in the first year you won the world series????

Please don't tell me there is ANY chance that you would pick the indians...its a stupid argument.

can somebody please tell me about ryan franklin? also I say the Mulder signing is good as long as we resign weaver. Mulder CANNOT be relied upon this season. If we rely on him coming back, it will probably force us to bring him back before he is 100%. and we saw what happened to him last year when that happened.

Well clearly I don't feel it's a stupid argument, or I wouldn't be making it. However, I'll quote myself from my last post:
"I can't disagree with you that for a veteran pitcher with most of his career behind him, the Cardinals are a good choice."
So... Not sure what your argument is here. I'm from Cleveland, but I have some strong connections in St. Louis, and I've been supporting both teams and I've been to the new park a couple times. It's not like I'm bashing the Cards here. I just said IMO, I thought the Indians were better FOR MULDER, and it seems it's turned into an argument as to whether Cleveland is a better team, which is something I'm not interested in debating (I did enjoy the interleague series this year, though).

Its not about which team is better because I wish I could say its the Indians. I like the team and the city. Its just that for Mulder, I believe the obvious choice is the Cardinals. Don't mean to make you think I don't respect your opinion, everyone has a right to their own and shouldn't be criticized for it. So apologies if I sounded ignorant, I just think the obvious choice is the Cards, at least for him, unless the money was a lot better in Cleveland.

I don't believe it was.

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