Bartolo Colon Rumors

Trade Deadline Notes: Colon, McCarthy, Phils, Angels, Mariners, White Sox

In an Insider piece yesterday, ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden listed 21 hitters who could change hands over the trade deadline and handicapped their odds of doing so. Bowden says it is 50/50 whether the following players are dealt: Daniel Murphy, Michael Cuddyer, Josh Willingham, Seth Smith, and Gerardo Parra. He puts better than even money on Chris Carter of the Astros (60%), Alex Rios of the Rangers (65%), and Ben Zobrist of the Rays (70%) landing in new uniforms.

Here’s the latest trade deadline chatter …

  • Though he has increased his value with a recent string of outstanding starts, Mets hurler Bartolo Colon is not likely to be dealt, reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. The club is disinclined to sell, says Martino, and expects to have plenty of need for the veteran next year — even with the expected return of Matt Harvey and rise of younger arms.
  • Brandon McCarthy of the Diamondbacks could be the ideal buy-low starting pitching  target, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. While McCarthy’s results have not been encouraging (5.38 ERA), the opposite holds true of his peripherals (80:18 K:BB ratio, 56% groundball rate). In large part, McCarthy has been hurt by a bloated home run rate and batting average on balls in play. The righty could prove a bargain, says Nicholson-Smith, because he won’t require a major prospect return and Arizona may even need to pay part of his $9MM salary.
  • The Phillies may ultimately decide to part with some veterans, but David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News questions whether they will get much in return. Marlon Byrd has a lower OPS and less home runs — and is owed a lot more money — than was the case last year when he was dealt for a less-than-overwhelming return. John Mayberry Jr. has been on the block for some time, and his hot start does not mean he’ll suddenly bring back a haul. And even Cliff Lee is not nearly as valuable as one might think, says Murphy, owing to his significant remaining guarantee and current arm issues.
  • We heard recently that the Angels were looking to add a lefty and perhaps a closer to their bullpen. According to MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez and Matthew DeFranks, the club has or will look into Huston Street and Joaquin Benoit of the Padres, Jonathan Papelbon and Antonio Bastardo of the Phillies, and Jim Johnson of the Athletics“There are pieces here that are very functional in getting to a good bullpen, and I believe that we’ll get there,” said GM Jerry Dipoto. “But we are going to have to address some of that in July and help this group out.”
  • Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said yesterday that he would be surprised if the club did not swing at least one deal in advance of the trade deadline, in an appearance on 1090 The Fan’s Steve Sandmeyer Show (Twitter links via co-host Jason Churchill). The club’s head baseball decisionmaker also left the impression that the club will be able to achieve some payroll flexibility in weighing acquisitions.
  • One club with whom the Mariners are “expected to talk” is the White Sox, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Some or all of Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez, and Dayan Viciedo could hold appeal to Seattle, Morosi suggests. Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com tweets that the M’s, who have scouted the South Siders recently, are intrigued by Ramirez and have had targeted Viciedo in the past.

Mets Notes: Duda, Young, Abreu, Bullpen, Colon

Chris Young's tenure with the Mets isn't off to an ideal start, as the outfielder has already been placed on the disabled list with a quad injury sustained in the cold weather on Wednesday. Young called the situation a "bad dream" when talking with MLB.com's Anthony DiComo, who also spoke to manager Terry Collins about the $7.25MM man's early DL stint. More on the Amazin's as some teams wrap up their opening series…

  • Manager Terry Collins told reporters earlier today that the Mets will give one first baseman a chance to prove himself beginning tomorrow, and Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that it will be Lucas Duda, not Ike Davis (Twitter links). Duda will be given a "real shot" to prove he can hold the job down, according to Martino.

Earlier Updates

  • Bobby Abreu's minor league deal with the Mets is worth $800K, and he can opt out if not on the Major League roster by April 30, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). Abreu signed with the Mets after his release from the Phillies late last month.
  • The Mets' bullpen woes only increased today, as a variety of arms struggled once again in action against the Nationals. The focal point of that general concern, of course, is injured closer Bobby Parnell, who figures to be out for at least six weeks and possibly much longer. As Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes, replacing Parnell is a delicate balancing act. An outside addition is always possible, of course, but the options are limited. And while the team may well look to some young arms to bolster the MLB relief corps before long, it will need to be careful not to stunt the development of the team's key prospects.
  • Martino also examined Bartolo Colon's importance to the Mets, and in doing so revealed that the Mets were the only club to offer Colon a multi-year deal. The Mets knew they needed to overpay after five losing seasons, according to Martino, who adds that Tim Hudson was willing to pitch for the Mets earlier in the offseason prior to signing a two-year, $23MM deal with the Giants.

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.


NL Notes: Aaron, Mets, Colon, Phillies, Brewers

The Braves have announced (via Twitter) that Hall of Famer Hank Aaron suffered a fall on the ice and underwent partial hip replacement surgery. The surgery was successful, and he should recover and return to his usual activities within two months. Here are a few notes from around the National League.

  • The Mets added Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon and Chris Young this offseason, but those moves mostly simply replaced money that had come off their payroll, Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes. Notably, Johan Santana (who made $25.5MM last year and had a $5.5MM buyout for 2014) is gone, as are John Buck ($6.5MM), Frank Francisco ($6.5MM) and Shaun Marcum ($4MM).
  • The Mets were the only team to offer Colon a two-year deal this offseason, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin tweets. Colon, 40, signed for two years and $20MM.
  • The Phillies still aren't sure what they have in Miguel Alfredo Gonzalezthe Associated Press reports. The Cuban pitcher signed for $12MM in August, an amount that was drastically reduced from $48MM after the Phillies became concerned about Gonzalez's elbow. The Phillies watched Gonzalez pitch as spring training opened on Thursday. "He shows deception with his delivery, so that's something," says manager Ryne Sandberg. "I'll be anxious to see how he continues to look as he continues to build arm strength."
  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin is excited about his team's pitching depth, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel. One benefit of the Matt Garza deal is that it allows other pitchers more time to develop, Melvin notes. 


Mets Notes: Colon, Williams, Drew

Here's the latest from Citi Field…

  • Bartolo Colon's two-year, $20MM deal with the Mets breaks down as $9MM in 2014 and $11MM in 2015, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports.  Rubin estimates that the Mets' 2014 payroll currently sits at roughly $85.9MM.
  • The Mets discussed Jerome Williams earlier this offseason, MLB.com's Anthony DiComo tweets, though his name hasn't come up since Colon signed.  Williams is hoping to find a full-time rotation job and the Mets can't guarantee him a regular turn.  At least eight to 10 teams checked in on Williams after he was non-tendered by the Angels, and he already received a few offers during the Winter Meetings, with most of the interest coming from the AL West and AL Central.
  • Since the Mets don't project to be contenders in 2014, ESPN's Buster Olney opines (Insider subscription required) that signing Stephen Drew doesn't make sense for the team, barring the unlikely event that Drew agrees to a team-friendly one-year deal.
  • In other Mets-related news from earlier today, the Mets signed Taylor Teagarden to a minor league deal and Brewers GM Doug Melvin said he was in "ongoing discussions" with Mets GM Sandy Alderson about a trade involving a first baseman (namely, Ike Davis) but nothing has materialized.

Mets To Sign Bartolo Colon

SATURDAY, 4:42pm: The Mets have confirmed the deal via press release.

WEDNEDSAY, 4:31pm: The Mets and Bartolo Colon are in agreement on a two-year, $20MM pact, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).

Colon-BartoloColon's agent, Adam Katz of the Wasserman Media Group, was reportedly targeting a two-year deal rather than a one-year pact and he apparently succeeded.  The hurler had interest from several clubs, including the Twins, Rangers, and Orioles, despite his age and previous ties to PEDs.  The Indians also had some level of interest in a reunion, according to Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer (on Twitter), but were unwilling to go to two years.

Colon, 40, pitched to a 2.65 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 30 starts last season for the A's. Colon's velocity and strikeouts have dropped as he's aged, but he's also taken his command to new levels and now is one of the most precise pitchers in all of baseball. Over the past two seasons — a span in which he's thrown 342 2/3 innings — Cliff Lee is the only starter in all of baseball with a lower BB/9 rate than Colon.

There had been interest between Colon and Oakland in a reunion, but chances of that reunion likely dissolved when the A's added Scott Kazmir on a similar two-year deal worth $22MM. Colon's contract comes in just a shade under the two-year, $23MM inked by Tim Hudson to pitch for the Giants, showing that teams aren't deterred by aging arms in this market, as long as they remain productive.

Colon will join Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee and Jonathon Niese in the Mets' rotation and replace some of the production lost when Matt Harvey suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament and underwent Tommy John surgery. The Mets' 2015 rotation will likely consist of Harvey, Colon, Wheeler, Niese and Gee with other arms like Rafael Montero and Jenrry Mejia potentially in the mix as well.

For his career, the veteran owns a 3.94 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 16 seasons for the Indians, Expos, White Sox, Angels, Red Sox, White Sox, Yankees, and A's.

Steve Adams contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Twins Eyeing Garza, Arroyo, Colon, Pelfrey

The Twins' list of pitching targets currently consists of Matt Garza, Bronson Arroyo, Bartolo Colon and Mike Pelfrey, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter).

Minnesota has been uncharacteristically aggressive on the free agent market, already landing Ricky Nolasco (four years, $49MM) and Phil Hughes (three years, $24MM) to shore up a rotation that posted an MLB-worst 5.26 ERA and 4.9 K/9 in 2013. Previous reports have indicated that despite being shipped off by the Twins years ago in a trade for Delmon Young, Garza would be open to returning to the team that drafted him.

The Twins' interest in Arroyo has been ongoing, and they're currently in the mix for the veteran innings eater along with the Reds and Mets. The Pirates are said to have dropped out of the Arroyo market, but the Reds could be preparing an offer. We've also heard of their interest in a reunion with Pelfrey a number of times, and they've reportedly extended an offer in the two-year, $10MM range that Pelfrey and agent Scott Boras have declined.

Minnesota's connection to Colon is new and would seem to be a dificult fit, as the aging Colon likely would prefer to sign with a team that's more likely to contend in 2013. However, the Twins could try to sell Colon on the fact that his addition would give them a fairly competitive rotation, or they could guarantee Colon a second year if other teams are reluctant to do so.


Pitching Rumors: D-Backs, Colon, Twins, Williams

Things are starting to heat up again on Day Three of the Winter Meetings, so let's dive right in and round up a few early morning notes on a handful of starting pitchers….

  • The Diamondbacks are targeting front-line starters, as we heard yesterday, and Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (via Twitter) that, besides Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Garza is the team's top choice due to the lack of draft pick compensation.
  • Bartolo Colon and agent Adam Katz continue to focus on a two-year deal rather than a one-year pact, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney. This isn't the first time we've heard about the righty's desire for a multiyear contract — the deals for Scott Kazmir and Tim Hudson have recently been cited as possible comparables for Colon.
  • La Velle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune has a few updates on the Twins' search for starting pitching, including word that the club could be in on Garza and, if he becomes available, Tanaka. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities cautions (via Twitter) that there are no real developments on the Garza front, and that the Twins have spoken to agent multiple times and are familiar with his asking price.
  • Jerome Williams represents a solid buy-low candidate, and is expected to top his projected $4MM arbitration salary on the open market, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • MLBTR's Tim Dierkes hears that as many as eight to 10 teams have checked in on Williams in the past 48 hours (Twitter link).

Quick Hits: Cubs, Blue Jays, Butler, Cruz, Ackley

By participating in the three-team Mark Trumbo trade with the Diamondbacks and Angels, the White Sox hindered their cross-town rivals' hopes of dealing Jeff Samardzija, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. The Diamondbacks have been interested in Samardzija since the summer, and one of the players they dealt in the Trumbo deal, pitcher Tyler Skaggs, would have been a key component of any package strong enough for the Cubs to send Samardzija to the desert. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • Wittenmyer also reports that the Cubs haven't yet made an offer to Scott Baker, who worked through an elbow injury and made three late-season starts for the Cubs in 2013. They have, however, talked with his agency. Baker is represented by Octagon.
  • The Blue Jays are still prefer not to sign players for more than five years, although, as Sportsnet.ca's Ben Nicholson-Smith recently noted (via Twitter), there may be signs that could be softening somewhat. Still, their reluctance removes them from the market for top-tier free agents, who usually sign for longer, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm points out. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos prefers to trading for high-profile players rather than signing them. "There are some players out there in trade that signed long-term contracts, and then a year or two later, they're already getting moved," he says. "That's pretty telling. I still think five years is a long period of time."
  • Chisholm also reports that Anthopoulos says that prospects Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman "come up in every trade talk we probably have," due to their relatively close proximity to the Majors. "If you're trying to get a controllable starter, everyone would prefer to get the talent level that's closest," Anthopoulos says.
  • Even though the the Royals didn't sign Carlos Beltran, they haven't ruled out the possibility of trading DH Billy Butler, ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets. If they do, they could end up signing Nelson Cruz.
  • The Rangers, Mariners and Orioles still appear to have interest in Cruz, Stark tweets, noting that it could still be awhile before Cruz signs.
  • The Orioles have also checked in on free agent starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, tweets FOX Sports' Jon Morosi.
  • The Yankees, Mets and Padres have asked about Dustin Ackley of the Mariners, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman tweets. Ackley, 25, hit .253/.319/.341 in 427 plate appearances in 2013, with his time split between second base and outfield.
  • Ten teams are interested in infielder Justin Turner, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes writes (via Twitter). Turner hit .280/.319/.385 in 214 plate appearances and played all four infield position for the Mets in 2013.
  • Astros outfielder L.J. Hoes is now represented by MVP Sports Group, Dierkes tweets.

Rangers Have Interest in Bartolo Colon

The Rangers have interest in starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. Colon would provide the Rangers with a backup plan in case Matt Harrison isn't ready to come back from injuries that limited him to two big-league starts in 2013. If Harrison is healthy, Colon would likely bump Alexi Ogando to the bullpen.

Colon will be 41 shortly after the start of the 2014 season, so he could very well be available to the Rangers on a one-year basis. Wilson notes that a one-year deal would be attractive for the Rangers, who might have Luke Jackson or other prospects knocking on the door by 2015. Colon posted a 2.65 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 190 1/3 innings with the Athletics last season.


NL East Links: Izturis, Mets, Colon, Arroyo, O’Flaherty

The Marlins have made the most headlines in the NL East today, agreeing to terms with Garrett Jones and talking trades with a number of teams regarding Logan Morrison. There's a lot more going on in the NL East though, and here's a rundown of some news from today…

  • The Mets have already had internal discussions regarding Cesar Izturis and plan to meet with his agent in the coming days, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (on Twitter). Izturis batted just .209/.259/.271 in his age-33 season with the Reds in 2013.
  • Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes that the Mets aren't likely to sign Bartolo Colon or Bronson Arroyo and instead figure to look at back-end type starters like Daisuke Matsuzaka"We'd be hesitant to give a multi-year deal (to a pitcher), but that doesn't mean we wouldn't," GM Sandy Alderson told Martino. Alderson said he's also had recent discussions with Johan Santana's agent.
  • The Nationals aren't interested in adding another catcher at this time, tweets Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington. GM Mike Rizzo believes that Wilson Ramos can catch 125 games next season, though he's never appeared in more than 113 games in a single Major League season.
  • The Nationals have been linked to Eric O'Flaherty a number of times already, but a source told MLB.com's Bill Ladson that that issue will be addressed "down the road." O'Flaherty told Ladson in a phone interview that he's open to going anywhere and also spoke highly of Washington's group of young talent.
  • Adding a lefty reliever is one of Rizzo's top priorities, but a deal may not get done this week, reports Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com. Rizzo added that in an ideal world, they'd add more than a lefty specialist, landing someone who can also get right-handed hitters out as well.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he doesn't envision making a move to acquire a front-line player (Twitter link). "I see more support (type) moves," Wren told O'Brien, which O'Brien speculates could mean a power bat for the bench and depth for the bullpen and rotation.