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Mulder retires

Word out of Milwaukee, where the Brewers have been rumored all winter to be interested in signing him, is that Mark Mulder is planning to retire.

Much as the case has been since the Birds signed him to a two-year contract extension following the 2006 season -- and despite claims that he is on the verge of returning to his once dominant self -- Mulder just can't get over the hump in his recovery.

The tall lefty relies on nasty breaking stuff to get hitters out. And his shoulder prevents him from getting his arm slot high enough where he can get the action he needs on his pitches. He had hoped the be re-united with former Oakland pitching coach Rick Petersen in Milwaukee.

When the Cardinals sent a package that included future star Danny Haren to Oakland in 2004, Mulder was 81-42 for his career -- averaging 16 wins and eight losses a season -- with a 3.92 ERA. He was right on his career numbers in 2005 with the Redbirds. But after that he was 6-10 with a 7.73 ERA in 2007 and 2008 (while making $11.5 million from the Cardinals.) He got bombed for 150 hits in 106 innings pitched. And 23 of those hits were home runs.