The Rangers agreed to a minor league deal with former Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon on Sunday. The deal including an invitation to spring training, along with an opportunity to make the big league roster. If Colon were to find himself on the Rangers’ 40-man roster, he will make a base salary of $1.75 million in 2018.
Bartolo Colon, 44, did not have the most remarkable 2017 with a combined -2.2 WAR with a 6.48 ERA, 7-14 win-loss record, and a 1.587 WHIP. 2017 certainly was not kind to Big Sexy and it appeared that Colon would be forced to hang up his spikes in 2018. Fortunately, Colon will get a shot at redemption in 2018 and it is clear that he desperately needs a bounce-back.
“Bartolo brings a track record of durability and success in the major leagues,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels stated during a statement. “He pounds the strike zone and provides quality competition for our rotation.”
Bartolo made his Major League debut with the Cleveland Indians in 1997 and has had a great deal of success in his Major League career. Colon has 240 career wins in 20 career seasons with 10 different teams. The heavyset right-hander has posted 21 career wins against the Texas Rangers which is interestingly the most by any pitcher. I guess if you can’t beat him, sign him to a minor league contract.
Since Colon has an invite to spring training in 2018 he is going to have to prove to the Rangers that he is still worthy of a spot in their starting rotation. Colon will need to prove that 2017 was a fluke and that he can go back to 2016 form in which he went 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA and 128 strikeouts.
This deal comes at a very low risk for the Rangers who will receive a back of the rotation starter for the Major League equivalent to chump change, and if they are not happy with what they see, they can just send him down to the minors. As for Colon, this upcoming Spring Training will be a pivotal moment in his career and will likely determine whether he retires or not.