Mark Mulder's comeback has been confirmed: the 36-year-old left-hander has agreed to a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The incentive-laden deal could earn him as much as $6 million.
Mulder, who has not thrown a pitch in the Majors since 2008, announced his plans for a comeback attempt in early December. Since then, he worked out for five teams, with the Angels rising to the top of the pack as the most likely landing spot for his services.
Shoulder and rotator cuff issues that led to two surgeries in 2006 and 2007 sidelined Mulder's career, forcing him to retire early and take a job as an ESPN analyst, a position he held through this past MLB season.
After emerging onto the scene with the Oakland A's in the early 2000s - and finishing second in Cy Young voting in 2001 - Mulder moved on to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he served the rest of his big league career to date. In the 205 games he's pitched in the majors, Mulder owns a 4.18 ERA, a 5.7 K/9 and a 2.8 BB/9, while accumulating a win/loss record of 103-60.
Mulder has been recently quoted as saying that "the ball is coming out of my hand better now than at any point when I was in St. Louis", and the Angels must have been impressed enough with his pitching to take a flier on him. Though he's now signed to a minor-league contract, if he's capable of showing the organization that he'll in any way be an asset at the big-league level, there's every reason to assume we'll actually end up seeing Mulder don a Halos jersey in 2014.
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