The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Tom Krasovic reported today that Padres GM Kevin Towers expects to sign Brett Tomko for a relief role. Tomko was quoted as saying "Of course, we’re interested."
To clear things up, ESPN’s Amy Nelson spoke to Tomko today. He’s not close to signing with the Padres. In an ideal world he’d get a multiyear deal and a chance to start. The Padres offered one year and a bullpen job. Said Tomko: "It’s not like I’m looking to be the highest-paid 4-12 pitcher ever. But I don’t feel like I’m desperate. I’m willing to wait for a couple of other guys to sign." Nelson adds that more than six teams have inquired on Tomko, including the Nationals, Rockies, Astros, and Marlins. He’s an intriguing bargain buy.
But this begs the question: who was the highest paid 4-12 pitcher ever? Tomko made $4.1MM this year, $5.1MM if you count his buyout. Since 1901, 27 pitchers have gone 4-12. Since 1990, only Tomko, Mark Gubicza, and Darryl Kile have done it. Gubicza earned $1.6MM in ’96, while Kile earned $1.272MM in ’95. So Tomko technically already is the highest paid 4-12 pitcher ever.