Mark Mulder retires

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Mark Mulder pitch.jpgThis may register as the least surprising news of the day, but Mark Mulder — former member of the “Big Three” in Oakland — has announced that he has officially retired.

I think the only person this may be news to is Mulder’s agent who, back in February, when reports of Mulder’s retirement first surfaced, said that Mulder was going to pitch again. But even at the time Mulder and his friends were basically admitting that he was done.  If he threw one pitch in anger between then and today I’d be shocked.

The Big Three of Mulder, Zito and Hudson were overlooked in general — some people think that those A’s teams won all of those games only because Billy Beane took all those walk (er, or something) — but Mulder may have been the most overlooked of the Big Three.

Hudson was
considered the ace and Zito got his gigantic contract, but Mulder was no slouch. He won 21 games in 2001, 19 in 2002 and pitched well in the playoffs. Sadly,
his shoulder went pop a year after joining the Cardinals. After a good
2005 season, 2006 was cut short, 2007 and 2008 were near total losses
for him. He didn’t pitch at all last year.

You can look at Mark Mulder and ask what could have been, but you can also look at what was and say that it wasn’t too damn bad. 

Have a nice retirement, Mark.

CC Sabathia wants to return to the Yankees in 2018

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CC Sabathia‘s contract is set to expire this offseason, but for the long-tenured left-hander, nowhere feels more like home than New York. “I want to see this through,” Sabathia told reporters after a devastating Game 7 loss in the ALCS. “This is where I want to play.” Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman spoke warmly of the veteran starter, but would make no public guarantees that he’d return to the team next spring.

Sabathia, 37, just topped off his 17th season in the big leagues and his eighth career postseason run. He went 14-5 in 27 starts and put up a 3.69 ERA, 3.0 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 148 2/3 innings, good for 1.9 fWAR. He looked solid in the playoffs, too, propelling the team to a much-needed win in Game 5 of the ALDS and returning in the Championship Series with six scoreless innings in Game 3. His season ended on a sour note during Game 7, however. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings against a dynamic Astros’ offense, allowing one run on five hits and three walks and failing to record a single strikeout for the first time in 23 career postseason appearances.

Heading into the 2017 offseason, Sabathia finally arrived at the end of his seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees. While he’s repeatedly expressed a desire to keep pitching, despite rumors that his career might be on the rocks following the diagnosis of a troublesome degenerative knee condition, the decision isn’t his alone to make. Brian Cashman will also be seeking an extension with the Yankees this winter, so it’s difficult to say which impending free agents the club will try to retain — and Sabathia’s name isn’t the only one on that list. If it were up to skipper Joe Girardi, who is awaiting a decision on his own future with the organization, the decision would be a no-brainer. From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

CC will always be special to me because of what he stands for and the great player that he is, the great man that he is,” Girardi said. “The wonderful teammate that he is. How he pulls a team together. He’s as good as I’ve ever been around when it comes to a clubhouse guy, a guy that will take the ball when you’re on a losing streak or that you can count on, and knowing that it could be the possible last time.