Mark Mulder Rumors

Angels Could Soon Sign Mark Mulder

8:24pm: Mulder has offers from "several" teams and has not yet decided who he'll sign with, agent Brian Charles tells Fletcher (via Twitter).

8:00pm: Mulder and the Angels have not yet agreed to terms, but if they do, it will be on a minor-league deal, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets.

5:17pm: The Angels appear to be the favorites to sign free-agent pitcher Mark Mulder, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets. Cafardo reports that the Angels could soon sign Mulder to an incentive-laden contract.

Mulder, 36, is trying to make a comeback after retiring in 2010. He has not appeared in the Majors since 2008, and has only appeared in six games since 2006, having spent the last few years of his career struggling through shoulder injuries. He threw for three teams in November. Giants GM Brian Sabean recently said Mulder was looking for a big-league contract. Given his history, though, it would be surprising if he got one.


Quick Hits: Santana, Karstens, Mulder, Athletics

The signing of Omar Infante and Jason Vargas took up the money the Royals had earmarked to re-sign Ervin Santana, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter links), and thus with the club at its payroll limit, there is only a "remote" chance of K.C. bringing Santana back on even a one-year deal at a bargain price.  The Tigers, Diamondbacks and Mariners are a few of the teams that have been linked to Santana this offseason, though we probably won't know the full extent of his market (and the market for other top free agent starters) until Masahiro Tanaka's situation has been settled.

Here's some more from around baseball…

  • Jeff Karstens' agent Damon Lapa tells MLBTR's Zach Links that he expects at least a dozen clubs to be in attendance for Karstens' upcoming showcase.  Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported that Karstens will throw in January and Lapa indicated to MLBTR that he'll be auditioning in the "mid-to-late" portion of next month.  Lapa won't say what kind of deal he's seeking for his client but he did say that the 31-year-old is "100% healthy."
  • The Giants checked in on Mark Mulderbut the short version is he’s looking for more than we could provide, including a Major League contract,” GM Brian Sabean told reporters, including CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly.  Mulder is attempting a comeback and threw for three teams last month.
  • Athletics owner Lew Wolff told John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group that the A's ownership group hasn't been approached by any interested buyers and Wolff reiterated that the team isn't for sale.  Wolff also said he didn't have any interest in a new ballpark proposal by the city of Oakland that would see a stadium constructed at the Howard Terminal waterfront site.
  • The Cardinals have finished their major offseason work, GM John Mozeliak told reporters (including MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch).  The team will now look to add minor league depth and are prepared to be "opportunistic" if other ways of improving the roster present themselves, Mozeliak said.
  • Scott Boras will face a challenge in finding a big contract for Kendrys Morales considering the slugger's seemingly limited market, FOX Sports' Jon Morosi writes.
  • The Astros probably aren't done making moves and will look for some bargains in January and February, but GM Jeff Luhnow tells Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle that he would already be satisfied with taking his current roster into Spring Training.  Luhnow also commented on his team's recent acquisitions of Jesus Guzman and Collin McHugh, though he didn't comment on rumors tying Houston to Shin-Soo Choo.
  • "The White Sox have quietly had a terrific offseason," ESPN.com's David Schoenfeld writes, praising GM Rick Hahn for adding the likes of Adam Eaton and Matt Davidson for what Schoenfeld feels were expendable pieces in Addison Reed and Hector Santiago.

Mark Mulder Making Comeback Bid

Former star Athletics and Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder is hoping to return to the big leagues, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports. Mulder, 36, struggled through shoulder injuries in the last several years of his career, which ended in 2009. He last pitched in the big leagues in 2008, and has not pitched more than 11 innings in a season since 2006. He currently works for ESPN as an analyst.

Crasnick reports that Mulder's comeback attempt began in October, spurred by an attempt to mimic the delivery of Dodgers reliever Paco Rodriguez. Mulder thinks Rodriguez's delivery may have helped him figure out how to pitch effectively again.

Representatives of three big-league teams watched Mulder pitch last month, and he says he threw 89-90 MPH. "To be honest with you, I never anticipated this five or six weeks ago," Mulder says. "It was just a flat-out fluke that came from me trying to imitate Paco Rodriguez in my living room."


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Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Mets, Red Sox, Meek, Giants

On this date eight years ago, Major League Baseball's 73rd All Star Game ended after 11 innings in a 7-7 tie when both sides ran out of pitchers. Shortly thereafter, commissioner Bud Selig ruled that the All Star Game will determine home field advantage in the World Series, a still unpopular decision. The American League has won every Midsummer Classic since then, and 12 of the last 13 overall (the tie being the one exception).

This year's All Star Game is still four days away, so here are some links to keep you occupied until then…

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.


Mark Mulder Retires

Mark Mulder has only appeared in six games since 2006, but it wasn't until yesterday that the left-hander officially announced his retirement. Mulder, 32, told Jeff Fletcher of AOL FanHouse that he has retired from baseball and is instead devoting himself to becoming a better golfer.

A few months ago, it seemed that Mulder could return to pitch this season, since he was not ready to retire. The Brewers then seemed like a possible destination, but Mulder hasn't touched a baseball since February, so his baseball career is over.

"I guess I have retired," Mulder said.

The two-time All Star was one third of Oakland's "Big Three," along with Barry Zito and Tim Hudson. Mulder retires with a 103-60 record, a 4.18 ERA in 1314 innings, 834 strikeouts and, according to Baseball-Reference, about $33MM in career earnings.

The A's got more than memories from Mulder. They obtained Dan Haren for him in 2004, and later flipped Haren for Brett Anderson and others, so there are traces of Mulder on the current A's team.


Odds & Ends: Cardinals, Brewers, Willis, Guardado

Links for Sunday….


Mark Mulder Not Ready To Retire

8:58pm: Mulder told Slusser that even though he is going to "shut [his arm] down from throwing," he is not calling it quits just yet.

1:14pm: Mulder's agent Gregg Clifton told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that reports of his client retiring are not accurate, as Mulder hasn't made a decision.  However, Mulder's former teammate Eric Chavez told MLB.com's Jane Lee the pitcher is "done."

8:45am: Lefty Mark Mulder is retiring, according to television reports from Today's TMJ4 of Milwaukee.  The 32-year-old has been unable to contribute in the big leagues after having rotator cuff surgery in September of '06.

Mulder would finish with a 4.18 ERA and 103 wins in nine seasons for the Athletics and Cardinals spanning 1,314 innings.  88 of those wins came from 2001-05.  He won three postseason games, with a 2.34 ERA in 42.3 innings.  Mulder finished second in the Cy Young voting in his sophomore season, and made two All-Star teams.  According to Baseball-Reference, Mulder banked about $33MM in his career.


Odds & Ends: Hudson, Wang, Brewers, Cabrera

Some links for your Sunday…


Odds & Ends: Arbitration Filings, Brewers, Blue Jays

Got some more links for you on a hectic Tuesday…

  • Ed Price of AOL FanHouse has a list of salary figures exchanged by players and their teams at today's arbitration filing deadline.
  • MLB.com's Adam McCalvy breaks down the exchanged figures and the situations of the Brewers' remaining arbitration-eligible players.
  • Jordan Bastian of MLB.com says the Blue Jays' payroll "will probably be in the $60-63MM range" next season, down from a previously reported figure of $80MM.  Toronto's payroll, however, is "really a fluid number" according to Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.
  • Colorado may sign veteran catcher Paul Lo Duca to a minor-league deal, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
  • In a text message to Tyler Kepner of The New York Times (via Twitter), Johnny Damon said he's "sure things will work out somewhere." Damon added that he hasn't ruled out a return the Yankees either.
  • The Phillies are discussing a multi-year deal with arbitration eligible center fielder Shane Victorino, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
  • With Bengie Molina returning to San Francisco, the Mets primary catching target is now Yorvit Torrealba, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (via Twitter).
  • Morosi tweets that Joe Blanton filed for $10.25MM in arbitration today, but the Phillies countered with $7.5MM.
  • Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (via Twitter) spoke to a scout who saw Ben Sheets' throwing session today. "He threw very well. He threw easy," said the scout, who guessed that Mets, Cubs, and Rangers were the leaders for his services.
  • Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald tweets that the Marlins and Cody Ross are going to an arbitration hearing over a $250K difference.
  • MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets that the Astros and Wandy Rodriguez are $2MM apart in their arbitration case.
  • The Rays and B.J. Upton did not reach a deal today, and his agent indicated that the two sides will head to an arbitration hearing according to Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times (via Twitter). He later tweets that they may be just $300K apart.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com reports that the Cubs, Cardinals, and Dodgers are monitoring free agent lefty Mark Mulder. Late last week we learned that the Brewers were going to wait before deciding whether or not to offer Mulder a deal.
  • The Blue Jays have signed outfielder Jeremy Reed and righty Steven Register to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training according to a team press release.
  • MLB.com's Ken Gurnick tweets that the Dodgers have signed catcher J.D. Closser to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. The former top Rockies' prospect last appeared in the big leagues back in 2006.
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick penned a must-read on how Jack Zduriencik has transformed the Mariners in his short time at the helm.
  • SI.com's Tom Verducci took a look at the most efficient teams of the last decade. The Marlins, Athletics, and Rays highlight the best, while the Mets were among the least efficient.

Odds & Ends: Hairston, Brewers, Reds, Salazar

Some links for Friday…