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Mark Mulder Rumors
It wouldn't make sense for the Brewers to move Rickie Weeks or Ryan Braun to first base, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy writes. The Brewers have been connected to Corey Hart, Ike Davis and other first basemen this winter, but they haven't landed any of them. Scooter Gennett figures to be the Brewers' second baseman next season, leaving no obvious spot for Weeks. Weeks doesn't have an ideal bat for first base, and the Brewers could try to trade him, if they can find a taker. Milwaukee sees Braun as a long-term fix in right field, McCalvy notes. (Also, we might add that Braun's performance at third base in 2007 very persuasively suggests that he stay in the outfield.) Here are more notes from around the Majors.
- McCalvy also notes that Rule 5 pick Wei-Chung Wang's chances of sticking with the Brewers are "very slim," noting that the Brewers haven't kept a Rule 5 pick for an entire season since 2004 with reliever Jeff Bennett (who, like Wang, was selected out of the Pirates organization). Wang has also never pitched above the Gulf Coast League. McCalvy does point out, however, that there will be chances to stick in the Brewers' bullpen, particularly if they use lefty Will Smith as a starter.
- The Angels want to keep their first-round pick in this year's draft, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez writes. They're still looking for pitching, though, and if they don't want to surrender their pick, then signing Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez, who each rejected qualifying offers, won't be possible for them. That limits them to Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Garza, and Bronson Arroyo, followed by less-desirable options like Paul Maholm, Jason Hammel and Chris Capuano.
- The Twins had "some interest" in Mark Mulder, 1500ESPN.com's Darren Wolfson tweets. Mulder was not interested in signing with Minnesota, however, and he ended up heading to the Angels instead.
- Mulder says he's open to pitching in the minors if he feels like he's on a path back to the big leagues, but he doesn't want to stay in the minor leagues the whole season, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets.
- It looks more and more likely that the Red Sox will re-sign Stephen Drew, and if so, that doesn't mean they'll necessarily trade Will Middlebrooks, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. A number of potential suitors, including the Mets, Pirates, Twins and Yankees, appear content to go with internal options rather than signing Drew and losing a draft pick, which could leave the Red Sox as the only team standing. Boston currently figures to head into the season with Xander Bogaerts at shortstop and Middlebrooks at third, but if they re-signed Drew, Bogaerts would head to third and Middlebrooks wouldn't have a place to play. The Red Sox could then keep Middlebrooks for depth. MacPherson points to the example of Mike Carp, who demonstrated last year that a player need not have an obvious starting role to be helpful — perhaps Middlebrooks could follow in his footsteps.
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.
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 Mulder “but 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.
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."
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…
- Mets Paradise examines some trade scenarios for the Mets involving Ted Lilly and Octavio Dotel.
- The Bottom Line finds some relievers on the trade market that could entice the Red Sox.
- MLB Depth Charts lists (almost) every club's nearly big league-ready trade chips.
- Pittsburgh Lumber Co. looks at the possibility of the Pirates turning Evan Meek, an All Star, into a starting pitcher.
- The Dugout Report wonders if the Bengie Molina trade means the Giants are going for it, or packing it in.
- Meanwhile, More Hardball catches up with the three Molina brothers.
- River Ave. Blues lays out the case for the Yankees to acquire Kerry Wood.
- Examiner looks at the consequences of Jake Peavy's injury for the White Sox.
- The Baseball Opinion reviews the Mark Mulder trade following the lefty's retirement.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Baseball Blogs Weigh In | Bengie Molina | Boston Red Sox | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cleveland Indians | Evan Meek | Jake Peavy | Kerry Wood | Mark Mulder | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Octavio Dotel | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Francisco Giants | Ted Lilly | Texas Rangers
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.
Links for Sunday….
- The Cardinals are considering Adam Ottavino, their 2006 first-round pick, as an option for the bullpen, writes Derrick Goold. The 24-year-old has improved his delivery and hurled 8.1 innings so far this spring, allowing just one run with five strikeouts, though he also has five walks to go along with them.
- The Brewers will have some decisions to make this week on players such as Jim Edmonds, Matt Treanor, and Scott Schoeneweis, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Each signed a minor league deal with an out clause. McCalvy opines that "it would be a surprise" if Edmonds didn't factor into the Crew's 2010 Major League plans.
- Lynn Henning of the Detroit News thinks that the Tigers will release Dontrelle Willis in the near future.
- Eddie Guardado hasn't officially announced his retirement, but he tells Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas "I think I'm done." Durrett reports that, even if Guardado doesn't pitch again, the lefty would like to stay in baseball in some capacity.
- The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo has a few interesting notes in his latest column. He names Jake Westbrook as an intriguing trade-deadline pitching option, and says that Mark Mulder could still work toward a comeback this season.
- The Rangers may try to trade for a utility infielder, according to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post doesn't think it's a foregone conclusion that Adrian Gonzalez will be playing in Fenway Park by August.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adam Ottavino | Adrian Gonzalez | Cleveland Indians | Detroit Tigers | Dontrelle Willis | Eddie Guardado | Heath Bell | Jake Westbrook | Jim Edmonds | Joe Nathan | Mark Mulder | Matt Treanor | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | San Diego Padres | Scott Schoeneweis | St. Louis Cardinals | Texas Rangers
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.
Some links for your Sunday…
- Bryce Harper is not among the top ten on the Pirates' draft rankings currently, reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Jason Marquis, Ryan Zimmerman, Nyjer Morgan, and Ivan Rodriguez have all voiced their desire for the Nats to sign Orlando Hudson, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- The Phillies have talked about Chien-Ming Wang, but don't believe he's a fit, according to Scott Lauber of the News Journal.
- Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson says it's up to Mark Mulder to decide if he wants to pitch for the Brewers, according to this tweet from Haudricourt.
- The Brewers have pulled their latest offer to Corey Hart and are preparing for an arbitration hearing with him, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Orlando Cabrera wasn't willing to move from shortstop, so he picked the Reds over the Rockies, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown.
- Chien-Ming Wang will end up on one of the coasts, according to this tweet from Jon Heyman of SI.com.
- Melvin Mora is talking extensively with the Rockies and another club, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- The Dodgers are in the midst of talks with Garret Anderson, writes Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.
- Tony Jackson of ESPN.com adds Reed Johnson, Gabe Gross and Brian Giles to the list of backup outfielders the team is considering.
- The Indians are talking about bringing Russell Branyan back, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A reunion seems unlikely unless Branyan doesn't see appealing offers elsewhere.
- The Brewers engaged Jason Marquis but backed off since they were convinced he would sign with the Mets, writes Ken Davidoff of Newsday.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Bryce Harper | Chien-Ming Wang | Cleveland Indians | Colorado Rockies | Corey Hart | Garret Anderson | Jason Marquis | Los Angeles Dodgers | Mark Mulder | Melvin Mora | Milwaukee Brewers | Orlando Cabrera | Orlando Hudson | Pittsburgh Pirates | Russell Branyan | Washington Nationals
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.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: B.J. Upton | Ben Sheets | Chicago Cubs | Cody Ross | Colorado Rockies | Houston Astros | Jack Zduriencik | Jeremy Reed | Joe Blanton | Johnny Damon | Los Angeles Dodgers | Mark Mulder | Miami Marlins | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Paul Lo Duca | Philadelphia Phillies | Shane Victorino | St. Louis Cardinals | Steve Register | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays | Wandy Rodriguez | Yorvit Torrealba