Former Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne has not pitched in the major leagues since he was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008 -- and he was not very good that season, compiling a 5.44 ERA in 46 1/3 innings.
But the dream to play again lives on for the 41-year-old, who has earned a spot on Team Canada's roster for the World Baseball Classic later this month. He's also been serving as a guest pitching instructor for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and all signs point to Gagne attempting a comeback.
Gagne told mlb.com that his fastball has been clocked in the 90s and that his go-to pitch that helped him win the Cy Young in 2003 -- the changeup -- has returned.
"I feel great. It's almost scary," he said.
Gagne has had throwing sessions with the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks. The last time he appeared in a spring training camp was with the Dodgers in 2010. But Gagne was feeling the effects of multiple surgeries on his elbow and back and was assigned to the Dodgers' minor league camp. He asked for his release, which was granted.
He served as a pitching coach for France in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Last season, he pitched in one game for Ottawa of the independent Canadian-American Association. He allowed just one run, two hits and struck out six in five innings.
In a 10-year career that included stops in Texas, Boston and Milwaukee in addition to Los Angeles, Gagne compiled 187 saves, including 55 in 2003. He recorded 718 strikeouts in 643 2/3 innings.