Tim Byrdak may have celebrated his 40th birthday last month, but he’s not about to call it a career. The veteran left-handed reliever intends to pitch at the MLB level in 2014, according to his agent.
Byrdak recovered from left shoulder surgery to pitch in eight games for the New York Mets in September. Agent Mike Mosa says his client is now healthy and working out in anticipation of taking the mound in spring training.
“As far as competitiveness goes, Tim’s up there with anyone,” Mosa tells sportsnet.ca. “He’ll take the ball for you every day if you ask him to.”
Byrdak had surgery in September of 2012 to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder, so he was limited to one month in the big leagues in 2013. This reduces his leverage, meaning he’ll likely have to wait for the pitching market to settle before reaching a deal. Even so, teams such as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers could be among the clubs seeking left-handed relief depth in the coming months.
Byrdak has 12 seasons of MLB experience with the Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros and Mets. He owns a career 4.35 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 479 career appearances.
Selected in the fifth round of the 1994 draft, Byrdak enjoys mentoring younger players. He’s known for having what his agent describes as a free-spirited personality.
“He’s left-handed and he was born on Hallowe’en,” Mosa says. “I think that says it all.”