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SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants just said goodbye to Barry Zito and hello to Tim Hudson.
OK, so what about Mark Mulder?
Yes, GM Brian Sabean said, the Giants did check in with the other member of the A’s “Big Three” that ruled over the American League a decade ago. Mulder recently told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that he is attempting a comeback despite not having thrown a big league pitch since 2008 because of shoulder issues.
“But the short version is he’s looking for more than we could provide, including a major league contract,” Sabean said.
Amazingly enough, Mulder decided to try a comeback after watching the playoffs on television and noting something that Dodgers lefty Paco Rodriguez was doing in his delivery. Mulder tried to emulate it and something clicked as he played catch.
If the Giants are out on Mulder, you can be reasonably sure they won’t land Masahiro Tanaka, the 25-year-old right-hander who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for Rakuten of the Japanese Pacific League.
Tanaka wants to come to the U.S. and the way is being cleared after Nippon Professional Baseball and MLB agreed to a reworked posting system. Now any team can submit a $20 million posting fee and Tanaka can negotiate with those clubs as if he’s a free agent.
The posting fee is payable only when a team signs Tanaka. So it’s a free shot for the Giants to include themselves in the process, even if they don’t have any realistic plans to spend the $100 million-plus it’s expected he will command.
“It does make the player more free-agent like and that was the intent of the settlement,” Sabean said.
Sabean didn’t say whether the Giants would be involved or not, even on a cursory level. But it’s mostly a moot point because they already surpassed their self-imposed budget to sign left fielder Michael Morse.
[RELATED: 1-on-1 with new Giants LF Michael Morse]
The Giants remain active trolling the depths of free agency to sign players on minor league contracts with invitations to spring training. But Sabean doubted they would add anyone else on a big league contract.
In line image of Mark Mulder provided by The Associated Press