We see veteran pitchers go through the comeback routine all the time. A team agrees to take a chance on the guy, he signs a one-year minor league contract and tries to earn his way back on the roster. For a recent example, see the deal Roy Oswalt signed with the Colorado Rockies last season. And, you know, Oswalt had actually pitched for a Major League team within the last year. Within the current decade, for that matter.
That brings us to Mark Mulder, who last pitched in the Major Leagues in 2008 and looked comfortable behind the Baseball Tonight desk for ESPN when last we saw him. He is attempting a comeback, and apparently he thinks a team should give him a Major League contract in that context. At least that is what he reportedly told the San Francisco Giants.
#SFGiants have kept tabs on Mark Mulder but he’s looking for a major league contract. Giants more or less tapped out, Sabean said.
— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) December 17, 2013
Mulder’s promising career was certainly cut short by injury; he only pitched for eight years and made only 23 total appearances in his last three seasons (2006-2008) with the St. Louis Cardinals. In his last full season, he went 16-8 in 2005 with a 3.64 ERA and logged 205 innings, capping a five year stretch in which he won at least 15 games each season. Talent was never the question, but health obviously was.
Teams are willing to gamble on guys in hopes of hitting on an effective left-handed starter, but if Mulder thinks he’s going to get a Major League deal this comeback will be short-lived.