Angels in the mix for Mark Mulder …
The Angels are “emerging as [a] front-runner” to acquire veteran pitcher Mark Mulder, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported via Twitter on Friday night, adding that “an incentive-laden deal could be consummated soon.”
Mulder, 36, has been retired for four years, hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2008 and currently works as an ESPN analyst. But the Angels were among the teams who saw him throw in Arizona just before the Winter Meetings, and a source confirmed that they have interest in acquiring the former A’s and Cardinals ace.
A separate source told MLB.com that Mulder still hasn’t made up his mind yet, though, and is weighing offers from seven different teams, with the Angels being one of them. He is, however, set on coming back to pitch. Earlier reports said he was seeking a Major League contract, but it remains to be seen if he actually gets that.
Mulder was a 21-game winner with the A’s in 2001, ultimately finishing second in voting for the American League’s Cy Young Award, and was among the game’s top left-handers from 2001-05, averaging 18 wins per season while posting a 3.65 ERA and making two All-Star teams.
But he pitched only 12 2/3 Major League innings from 2007-08 and retired in ’09 after struggling to bounce back from two shoulder surgeries, joining ESPN two years later.
But in October, he started emulating the delivery of Dodgers reliever Paco Rodriguez and found something that worked for him, according to an ESPN.com story. That prompted Mulder to spend the month of November working himself back into shape in Arizona, before throwing off the mound near his home in Scottsdale and reportedly sitting between 89-90 mph with his fastball.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am,” Mulder told ESPN in early December. “To be honest with you, I never anticipated this five or six weeks ago. It was just a flat-out fluke that came from me trying to imitate Paco Rodriguez in my living room.”
— Alden Gonzalez