Last year Mark Mulder’s comeback attempt with the Angels ended when he tore his left Achilles’ tendon during spring training.
After sitting out the entire season Mulder talked about possibly trying another comeback this year, but today the two-time All-Star told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com that he’s staying retired: “I just couldn’t get where I needed to be.”
Mulder is 37 years old and was last healthy and effective way back in 2005, so a comeback would have been a huge longshot.
He had 97 wins, a Cy Young runner-up finish, and 1,208 career innings through age 27, but logged a grand total of 106 innings with a 7.73 ERA after that.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain and the Royals have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.725 million.
Cain requested $3.6 million and the Royals countered at $2 million following a season in which he hit .301 with five homers, 28 steals, and a .751 OPS in 133 games to establish himself as an impact player at age 28.
Cain was arbitration eligible for the first time and is under the Royals’ team control through 2017.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas has avoided arbitration with the Royals by signing a one-year, $2.64 million contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Moustakas requested $3.1 million and the Royals countered at $1.85 million.
He finished the season on a high note with some postseason heroics, but Moustaksas had a rough year overall by hitting just .212 with 15 homers and a .632 OPS in 140 games.
The former top prospect and No. 2 overall pick is a lifetime .236 hitter through age 25 and his 20-homer power is often canceled out by terrible plate discipline, leading to a measly .668 career OPS. Kansas City is sticking with him, but this could be a make-or-break year for Moustakas.
Tampa Bay has added some infield depth by signing switch-hitter Alexi Casilla to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Early in his career Casilla showed some promise with the Twins, but he never developed enough offensively to be a quality regular and is more of a second baseman than a shortstop defensively.
He’s a 30-year-old career .247 hitter with a .633 OPS, but Casilla does bring plus speed and some defensive versatility to a possible bench role for the Rays.
Journeyman catcher Wil Nieves has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Padres, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com.
Nieves spent last season backing up Carlos Ruiz with the Phillies, hitting .254 with one homer and a .614 OPS in 36 games. He has a .598 career OPS and has topped a .700 OPS just once, in 2012, so at age 37 expectations should be very modest.
He’ll compete with Tim Federowicz to back up Derek Norris in San Diego.