Kelvim Escobar, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2009 and has thrown a total of five innings since 2007, is making a comeback with the Brewers.
Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Escobar has agreed to a minor-league deal with Milwaukee and will get an invitation to spring training.
Once upon a time Escobar was a good, hard-throwing starter (and sometimes reliever) for the Blue Jays and Angels. His career peaked in 2007 when he went 18-7 with a 3.40 ERA in 196 innings for the Angels, but shoulder surgery followed the next spring and he was never the same.
Now he’s 36 years old, so obviously Escobar making it back to the majors is a long shot and several of his previous comeback attempts have failed.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.
The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.
Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.
Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.
The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.