Kelvim Escobar is 35 years old and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2009 because of shoulder problems, but Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that he’s attempting a comeback.
Or, more accurately, another comeback.
Escobar had similar plans last offseason, when agent Peter Greenberg told reporters he was “doing very well.” It never went anywhere, but Greenberg recently told Puma that Escobar is aiming to make some winter ball appearances next month.
Assuming he draws any kind of interest from MLB teams Escobar will no doubt have to settle for a minor-league contract. He last signed a major-league deal with the Mets back in December of 2009, but underwent shoulder surgery in May and never threw a pitch for them.
Before all the injuries Escobar was a quality No. 2 starter for the Blue Jays and Angels, throwing 653 innings with a 3.60 ERA from 2004-2007, but in the four seasons since then he’s made exactly one big-league start.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.
Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.
The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.