Mark Mulder Rumors


AL Notes: Kipnis, Sizemore, Mulder

How do teams take players from promise to big league production? Grantland's Jonah Keri takes a look at some different developmental approaches for players approaching MLB readiness, most of them from AL clubs. The Twins, for example, advance players based upon their readiness to fill a need at the MLB level, while the Rays pay close attention to service time in a bid to maximize the value of each player asset. Here's more from the American League:

  • The Indians are still believed to be discussing an extension with second baseman Jason Kipnis, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. With just two years and 69 days of service, Kipnis will not reach arbitration eligibility until next year (though he received a relatively sizeable $554,900 contract from Cleveland for the coming season). As Hoynes notes, there is an interesting comp in the Cardinals' recent six-year, $52MM extension of Matt Carpenter, an older player with less service (and, on the whole, a less impressive overall track record). 
  • Grady Sizemore is an increasingly plausible option not just to break camp with the Red Sox, but to beat out Jackie Bradley Jr. for the center field job, writes Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. He has shown enough for the club (and, perhaps, Sizemore) to dare to dream, even if manager John Farrell is still preaching caution. But the skipper also joined those offering praise for Sizemore's performance thus far in camp. "The fact that Grady's having encouraging signs in spring training is not a bad thing for Jackie Bradley or for anybody," Farrell said. "It means we've got another good player. Grady gives us the potential to build another talented and deep roster." 
  • Though an achilles tear ended Mark Mulder's comeback bid this year with the Angels, the 36-year-old says that does not mean he is giving up entirely, reports MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez"Barring a setback, or me not being able to pitch with my ankle for some reason, I don't see why not," Mulder said. "My arm's still going to be the same next year."



Angels Release Mark Mulder

The Angels have released left-hander Mark Mulder, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Mulder's comeback attempt was cut short by a freak injury in which he ruptured his Achilles tendon during agility drills.

The former All-Star signed a minor league deal with the Angels in January that would have allowed him to earn as much as $6MM in incentives. Mulder was a workhorse from 2001 to 2005 for the Athletics and Cardinals, averaging 211 innings per season with a 3.65 ERA. However, shoulder issues limited him to just 106 innings from 2006 to 2008, his last year in the big leagues. He had worked as an analyst with ESPN since 2011.

Aaron Steen contributed to this post.



AL Notes: Dempster, BoSox Payroll, Drew, O's, Mulder

Earlier today, Ryan Dempster announced he will not pitch in 2014 forfeiting the $13.25MM he was due in the final year of his pact with the Red Sox. Boston, however, does not intend to pursue Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, or other free agent starting pitching, writes WEEI.com's Alex Speier. The Red Sox expect to slot Felix Doubront into the starting rotation and Brandon Workman into the swingman role with their stable of pitching prospects providing depth, according to Speier. Elsewhere in the American League:

  • Speier notes in the same article the Red Sox have newfound financial flexibility with Dempster's salary now off the books. Boston projects to have a 2014 payroll of $176MM (including $9MM allocated for in-season trades and roster additions), a $13MM cushion against the luxury tax. The Red Sox could re-sign Stephen Drew, but Speier wonders whether common ground can be found.
  • GM Ben Cherington passed on the opportunity to discuss the Red Sox's unexpected financial windfall saying the focus should be on Dempster, reports the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets the Yankees are not considering any additional free agent acquisitions, which would rule them out on Drew.
  • Jimmy Paredes, claimed on waivers yesterday by the Orioles, is a prime candidate to lose his 40-man roster spot once the team makes its signing of Suk-Min Yoon official, according to MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. Yoon has passed his physical, per multiple reports.
  • Mark Mulder, who saw his comeback bid with the Angels end when he ruptured his left Achilles tendon, told reporters, including Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, he has yet to decide whether he will attempt another return in 2015. "I'd love to say yes, but I don't know. I have to wait and see what the doctors say -- see what the process is of how healthy I can get it, how good it feels." Mulder undergoes surgery Monday and the rehab could last up to eight months.



Mark Mulder Ruptures Achillies

Angels signee Mark Mulder suffered a ruptured left Achillies tendon during agility drills, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). DiGiovanna adds that the lefty "is not expected to pitch this year."

The former All-Star signed a minor league deal with the Angels in January that would have allowed him to earn as much as $6MM in incentives. Mulder was a workhorse from 2001 to 2005 for the Athletics and Cardinals, averaging 211 innings per season with a 3.65 ERA. However, shoulder issues limited him to just 106 innings from 2006 to 2008, his last year in the big leagues. He had worked as an analyst with ESPN since 2011.

DiGiovanna tweets that the Angels were "extremely enthused by his throwing sessions and confident he would pitch this year." Mulder stood to earn $1MM if he made the Opening Day roster.



Quick Hits: Bailey, Mulder, Rays, Betancourt

Homer Bailey says he does not want to leave the Reds, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports. "To say that I 'want out of Cincinnati' is not true," says Bailey, who is eligible for free agency after the season. "If I am in the organization's future, my priorities are that things make sense for me on the business end, that we are a team that continues to be a highly competitive team in the league and a team that plays the game the right way." Reds GM Walt Jocketty says that extension negotiations with Bailey are on "hold," and Rosenthal writes that they may not pick up until there's more clarity on the free-agent pitching market. Here's more from throughout the big leagues.

  • The Angels signed Mark Mulder because they were impressed with his new delivery, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, who describes in detail the series of events that led Mulder to begin a surprising comeback attempt after not pitching more than 11 innings in a big-league season since 2006. "I haven't had the ball come out of my hand like this in a very long time, and it's fun," says Mulder of his recent workouts. "I never threw like this in all my years in St. Louis. And I mean that. It was smoke and mirrors that first year in St. Louis. ... My arm action was kind of deteriorating. And I'm gonna run with it. I'm gonna see what happens."
  • Jeff Niemann and Sam Fuld would have interest in returning to the Rays, MLB.com's Sam Chastain writes. Niemann is rehabbing a shoulder injury and plans to be ready by mid-2014. The Rays non-tendered Fuld last month after he hit .199/.270/.267 in 200 plate appearances for them last year.
  • Rafael Betancourt is making a comeback from Tommy John surgery, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. He believes he could pitch in 2014 despite only having the surgery only late last season. The Dodgers had interest in him as a free agent, but he wants to stay with the Rockies. "If I pitch again, it will be with the Rockies. I can’t see myself anywhere else at this point in my career. I have really enjoyed five years there," Betancourt says.



Quick Hits: Free Agents, Scherzer, Papelbon, Mulder

With Nelson Cruz, Stephen Drew, Ubaldo Jimenez, Kendrys Morales and Ervin Santana all in seeming free agent limbo after rejecting qualifying offers, Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan argues that the current free agent compensation system has proven to be too limiting.  While teams will give up draft picks to sign bigger stars like Robinson Cano, the so-called second tier of free agents are finding it much harder to get work.  "Last offseason, there were a number of guys affected in ways different than we expected compared to a freer market to pursue jobs.  It appears that's happening again, " MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said.  One club executive suggested to Passan that teams could make qualifying offers to more free agents next winter given the evidence about how it pushes prices down for some players.

Here's some more from around baseball...

  • The Tigers have recently made several important moves in the post-Christmas offseason period, and 2014's big early-year move could be laying the groundwork for a Max Scherzer extension, MLB.com's Jason Beck opines.  Beck thinks GM Dave Dombrowski will look to a one-year deal for 2014 to avoid going to arbitration with Scherzer, and those talks could lead to negotiations with agent Scott Boras over a longer-term extension.
  • Also from Beck, he wonders if the Tigers could discuss a new contract with Miguel Cabrera (signed through 2015) or possibly add another reliever to the bullpen.  Detroit has already addressed its main bullpen need by signing closer Joe Nathan, and also acquired Ian Krol and Joba Chamberlain for the relief corps.
  • Jonathan Papelbon discussed his name surfacing in recent trade rumors, the differences between the Phillies' and Red Sox clubhouse atmospheres and his joy at seeing his ex-Boston teammates win the World Series last October in a frank radio interview with Rob Bradford and John McDonald on WEEI's Hot Stove Show.  A partial transcript of the interview is available at WEEI.com.
  • The Phillies were interested in Mark Mulder before the veteran signed with the Angels, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link).
  • Forbes Magazine's Maury Brown discusses Major League Baseball's growing revenues and the effect on player salaries and acquisitions in a podcast with BostInno's Alex Reimer, who has a partial transcript of the interview here.
  • MLB.com's Anthony DiComo covers a number of Mets-related topics as part of a reader mailbag, including how he doesn't see Dee Gordon or Didi Gregorius as logical trade targets for the team.



Angels To Sign Mark Mulder

TODAY, 1:25pm: Mulder's deal includes no guaranteed money, tweets Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. He will have to make the opening day roster to guarantee his $1MM base, and must stay active and in the rotation for the full season to reach the $6MM in incentives, according to Fletcher.

YESTERDAY, 6:36pm: Mark Mulder has agreed to a minor league deal with a big league invite with the Angels, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (on Twitter).  The veteran, who is represented by Brian Charles of Big League Management Company, LLC, can earn more than $6MM if all incentives are met, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.  The deal comes with a guaranteed $1MM base salary, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Mulder

Mulder, 36, hasn't pitched since 2008 because of shoulder issues, and has been working as an analyst with ESPN since 2011.  Mulder began his comeback in Arizona in November and auditioned for the Giants, Diamondbacks, and numerous other clubs before reaching agreement with the Halos.  In nine seasons with the Athletics and Cardinals, Mulder owns a 4.18 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.

The veteran will get an opportunity to compete for a starting job while also training near his home in the Phoenix area, tweets Crasnick.  The Halos have Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson atop the rotation, with Joe Blanton, Garrett Richards, and lefties Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago also in the rotation mix.  The agreement with Mulder shouldn't preclude them in their pursuit of Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka or Matt Garza.  The baseball world will be rooting for Mulder, who last pitched in '08 and hasn't spent a full season as a starter since '05.

While it's a minor league deal, Mulder's agent won't commit to the left-hander actually pitching in the minors. "Mark will evaluate that if and when the time comes," Charles told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (via Twitter).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.  Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe first reported that Mulder was nearing agreement with the Angels.



Quick Hits: Brewers, Twins, Mulder, Angels, Red Sox

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.



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.









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