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Urbina return would be an improbable comeback story

By January 1, 2013

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If Ugueth Urbina makes it back to the major leagues, it would be one heck of a comeback story.

Urbina last pitched in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2005. That October in his native Venezuela, an incident on his family's ranch led to an attempted murder conviction, of which he was suspended to a 14-year prison sentence. (He was accused of attacking and injuring workers with a machete.) Less than seven years later, he was released on good behavior, and is now pitching in a league in Venezuela.

And, apparently, hitting 90 mph on a radar gun. Urbina is 38 years old.

"The objective is to pitch," Urbina said to El Nacional, as translated by MLB Trade Rumors. "When? My arm will say, and that's why I'm here. I'll work out two times a day if it's necessary, but my primary goal is to suit up with the Lions. After that, we'll know if any doors open to me up north (in MLB), which is what I want. I know that right now my mechanics aren't very good, but my arm is healthy. I only have to work on the details."

A two-time All-Star, Urbina has a career ERA of 3.45 in 11 seasons and led the NL in saves in 1999, collecting 41 for the Montreal Expos. He saved two games in the World Series for the Marlins on the way to their last championship in 2003.

He'd be the ultimate longshot candidate, but stranger things have happened. The scouts will watch, and if he has anything left, he'll probably pop up in an MLB camp this spring, somewhere.


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