While the reports of big moves this offseason have cooled lately, a new batch of MLB rumors has popped up to suggest Bartolo Colon could join the Texas Rangers. Sources are saying Colon is in talks with the team over a contract which would keep the veteran in the league not long after he contemplated retirement. Here’s the latest on what’s going on with Colon and the Rangers this offseason.
In a report from the MLB website’s T.R. Sullivan on Saturday, it’s noted that Texas has been in discussions with Colon over a minor league contract. MLB’s Jesse Sanchez first reported the deal on his Twitter page indicating it had “momentum” behind it. The idea behind the talks is to eventually add the multiple-time All-Star pitcher to a solid rotation that also includes Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, and Matt Moore. Colon is a former Cy Young Winner as he claimed the award back in 2005 with the Los Angeles Angeles. The veteran is also first among all active pitchers in terms of his 528 starts and 240 wins in his career.
At age 44 Colon isn’t exactly expected to be a top pitcher for the Rangers, but could provide them the depth they need. He pitched for the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins last season going 7-14 with a 6.48 ERA over 28 starts. That ERA was second-highest among pitchers last season. Colon also had the highest opponents’ batting average at .318 last season.
Clearly, those aren’t mind-blowing stats when it comes to pitching, but in 2016 he had 33 starts for the New York Mets with a 15-8 record and a 3.48 ERA. The Rangers would hope to see similar numbers from Colon as part of their rotation or at least a decent bit of value added to their lineup. Texas was 21st last season in terms of ERA (4.66) and 18th in terms of opponents’ batting average (.261).
Adding to the idea of bringing Colon on board is the fact that he has a connection already on the Rangers staff. Current Rangers assistant pitching coach Dan Warthen served as the Mets pitching coach from 2014 through 2016 while Colon was there. That could certainly help ease Colon’s transition to helping yet another roster during his lengthy career as he continues to defy his age and participate in the league.
As of last July, a report went out from ESPN that Colon might consider retirement after his time with the Minnesota Twins. However, this latest rumored deal suggests that the pitcher may just keep going until there isn’t an MLB team out there that is willing to utilize his skill set.