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.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.