Angels' investment in Mark Mulder could yield high return

General Manager Jerry Dipoto called the Angels’ recent signing of Mark Mulder to a minor league deal a potential “win-win” situation for the team and the 36-year-old left-hander, who hasn’t pitched since 2009 and hasn’t won a big league game since 2006.

“The way the contract is structured, he has to make the big league club to earn anything and to start games to get into the dollars available to him,” Dipoto said of a deal that would pay Mulder $1 million if he makes the team and up to $6 million if he pitches a full season.

“If Mark makes it back and pitches every fifth day, it’s because he is good enough to do that, and there would be no better outcome for the team to be in that situation. And in Mark’s case, he can get into the upside of his contract if he stays healthy and makes his starts.”

The Angels first saw Mulder throw in November, and they saw him throw two more bullpen sessions before signing him last week. Mulder’s fastball ranged from 87-92 mph, he kept his curve down in the zone, and he threw a nice changeup.

A pair of shoulder surgeries derailed Mulder’s career, but he maintained the velocity of his fastball throughout his 60-pitch bullpen workouts and appears to have regained the arm strength that helped him go 81-42 with a 3.92 earned run average in 150 games for Oakland from 2000-2004.

“He’s in great shape, he’s an excellent athlete and a great competitor,” Dipoto said. “It’s been a long time since he’s competed at this level, and that’s obviously part of his story coming back. From an emotional and physical standpoint, he’s prepared to do it. We’re excited to see where it goes.”


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