A month ago, Matt Palmer was looking at the biggest opportunity of what has been a meandering career. For the first time in his life, the 30-year old had the inside track for a spot in a team's starting rotation.
Then, the Angels signed Joel Pineiro two a two-year, $16 million deal, giving them five proven veteran starters.
Palmer might have had reason to feel overlooked, but he's not in a position to complain. He was a 31st-round pick and a few years ago, he was close to abandoning baseball to begin a career in the landscaping business.
In the last few seasons, Palmer has been a minor-league closer, a major-league starter on two different teams, a setup man, a short reliever and a long man. Put another way, there's not a pitching role he hasn't filled. Once again, he'll be the Angels' staff swing man.
"I never had my mind set on one thing. I always knew I could do different things," Palmer said. "A lot of guys grew up starting from when they were kids and it's all they knew how to do. Starting out when I was growing up and got into the system, they just put me in every situation possible. I don't throw 98 (mph), so I can't complain."