Mulder Signing Next Week?

Tom Haudricourt tweets that Doug Melvin is planning on meeting with Mark Mulder’s agent during next week’s organizational meetings in Phoenix. “Expect a signing,” Haudricourt says.

It’s good news to hear, even if it is expected. We’ve been hearing rumors linking the Brewers and Mark Mulder since the start of the offseason, when the Brewers hired Mulder’s former Oakland pitching coach, Rick Peterson. It seems like Mulder feels that Peterson can get his career back on track, since there haven’t been many — if any — other teams linked to a possible Mulder return.

Still, the Brewers shouldn’t feel content even if they add Mulder. The lefty is still a huge question mark, and there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to pitch in the majors. Just like the signings of Chris Capuano, Kameron Loe, and John Halama, it’s great if this works out, but the team shouldn’t count on them for anything more than organizational depth at Triple A. And it doesn’t seem like the Brewers would be content with signing filler. Ken Rosenthal (hat tip to MLB Trade Rumors) seems to think that the Brewers “almost certainly will sign one of” Jarrod Washburn, Doug Davis, or Jon Garland.

Signing one of those three would and wouldn’t be a surprise. They’ve been linked to all three names in the past — Melvin showed interest in Washburn at the deadline, nearly completed a waiver trade for Davis, and was reportedly interested in Garland when he was a free agent last offseason. At the same time, we’ve been led to believe by the likes of Haudricourt that the Brewers are already at the edge of their 2010 budget, and all three of those pitchers currently seem to be out of the Brewers’ price range.

Would Davis be willing to take a discount to return to Milwaukee? Would Washburn lower his demands the closer it gets to Spring Training? We’ll just have to wait and see. The worst possible scenario, in my mind, would be spending the money on a Davis or a Washburn and then being unable to take on the salary necessary to make a deal at the trade deadline if the team is still in playoff contention.

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