The Milwaukee Brewers are taking a chance on a veteran pitcher making a comeback and have avoided salary arbitration with left-hander Chris Narveson, the club announced Thursday.
Veteran right-hander Kelvim Escobar – who has thrown just five innings in the big leagues since 2009 due to lingering shoulder issues – has decided to make a comeback attempt with the Brewers, signing a minor league deal with an invitation to big league camp.
After going 18-7 with a 3.40 ERA in 30 starts for the Angels in 2007, Escobar injured his right shoulder the following March and didn’t pitch at all in 2008.
Escobar, now 36, returned to the mound for the Angels on June 6, 2009 and pitched five innings but injured his shoulder again and hasn’t appeared in a major league game since.
He tried to make a comeback with the New York Mets in 2010 but tore the capsule in his shoulder during spring training.
After sitting out for some time, Escobar went to the Venezuelan Winter League this winter and impressed scouts by posting a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings for Lara.
The Brewers intend to give Escobar a chance to make their bullpen in spring training. During his 12-year career, Escobar is 101-91 with a 4.15 ERA in 411 games. He has made 202 career starts but did save 38 games for Toronto in 2002.
Narveson, who missed most of last season with a torn rotator cuff, avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal with Milwaukee. In 2011, Naverson went 11-8 with a 4.45 ERA for the Brewers and is expected to compete for a spot in the rotation this season.
With Narveson signed, closer John Axford, reliever Burke Badenhop, right-hander Marco Estrada and center fielder Carlos Gomez are the only four Brewers who remain arbitration-eligible.