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MLB Rumors: Free Agent Brett Tomko is on the comeback trail

Ronald Martinez

It's been ten days since I've contributed anything here, and two full weeks since I've contributed anything of substance. I moved right before the calendar changed and didn't have intercable for about five days; since then I've been blank of mind. I still am, but I have to "get back on the horse" at some point. What better way to try to get back in the swing of things than to burn off a post in the middle of the night whose subject guarantees that no one will read it?

Brett Tomko is not someone who comes to mind when one thinks of in-demand arms. Honestly, he's not someone I think about at all. I wasn't just surprised to read on MLB Trade Rumors that six or so teams have shown interest in him this offseason; I was surprised that he's still pitching and I didn't know about it. To my credit, he's only pitched in eight major league games since 2009: all of them in relief for Texas in 2011. I don't pay attention to the Arena League, so that explains it.

Tomko is on the short list of players who have been Padres three separate times. Others I can think of off the top of my head are Eddie Williams and Phil Plantier, along with four-timer Rudy Seanez. His first stint with San Diego was in 2002, after he came over from Seattle in the Ben Davis trade. He started 32 games, posting a 4.49 ERA in 204.1 innings, and broke even with a 10-10 record. Kevin Towers sent him to St. Louis for a fat sack of nothing, and then Tomko spent time getting lit up for the Giants and Dodgers before returning to San Diego as a Hail Mary in September, 2007. He went 2-1 with a 4.61 ERA in his four starts and three relief appearances, and signed with Kansas City after the season.  Tomko got torched in 16 games with the Royals, posting an ERA just shy of seven before his release on June 21. He re-returned to the Padres less than a week later and gave up only two runs in 9.1 innings before they also released him.

Since his last time in San Diego, Tomko has bounced around even more. He split the 2009 season between the Yankees and A's, spent all of 2010 in the minors, and got into the aforementioned eight games with the Rangers in 2011. In 2012 he pitched for the Reds' and Diamondbacks' AAA affiliates; 2013 saw him make 19 starts in the independent Atlantic League.

I'm not too concerned with the threat of Brett Tomko dragging his gas can back to San Diego a fourth time. Thankfully, there's no need for him, so the worst-case-scenario is that he'd sign a minor league contract with an out-clause. Some other team will almost certainly take on that challenge, so the next time we hear about him he'll probably walking the bases full of El Paso Chihuahuas.