The Angels continued adding to their depth chart this afternoon. Joining a slew of signings this winter that includes Wade Leblanc, the Angels inked former all-star Mark Mulder to an incentive-laden minor league contract. So incentive-laden that Mulder could earn up to $6M in 2014. Six. Million. Dollars.
/punches self in the face
Yeah, that didn’t change anything. Or maybe I should have just punched myself harder.
For those of you playing the home game; Mark Mulder has not pitched in the Major Leagues since 2008. He has not won a Major League game since 2006. That is six years since appearing in the bigs, and eight years since being effective. And if he maxes out in 2014 he can go from making $0.00 as a pitcher in 2013 to $6M in 2014. Am I missing something here?
There is a good possibility that the Angels could have signed Joe Saunders for some of the change in Arte Moreno’s sofa. And Saunders actually pitched last year. And not just pitched in Major League baseball, he pitched in general. Mark Mulder spent last year as an analyst for ESPN.
Now, from the article linked above, Mulder’s agent, Brian Charles, did say that if Mark doesn’t make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training, that he would be open to considering an assignment in AAA. Which of course is fantastic. It has been nearly a decade since Mulder was an effective pitcher, and he would be “open to considering a AAA assignment.” Forget punching myself in the face, I’m going to go stand in traffic at rush hour.
This could end up being a very daft move by Jerry Dipoto, even more so than the Raul Ibanez signing. Mark Mulder was reportedly sitting between 88-92 MPH with his fastball during to two separate workout sessions this winter. Both of which, representatives for the Angels attended. Maybe there is one more season of magic left in that left arm.
Or maybe, this is going to be Kelvim Escobar part two.
On the plus side: If this works out, the Angels got a semi-cheap rotation option. And if it doesn’t work out, the Angels aren’t really wasting anything. The team isn’t guaranteeing Mulder anything more than a tryout, so I probably shouldn’t be as annoyed with this as I am. It just seems odd that Dipoto would find it necessary to offer anything more than the league minimum to a pitcher that retired in 2009. And I’m almost positive that I am not the only one who is thinking that.