Colby Lewis Rumors

Quick Hits: Lewis, Dodgers, Veteran Free Agents

Passing along a few odds and ends as we wrap up Feb. 21. On this date in 1986, Rollie Fingers became a champion of mustachioed men everywhere long before Movember was an actual thing, opting to retire and preserve his trademark handlebar rather than accept a contract with the Reds, who at the time still had a no-facial-hair policy. On with the links …

  • The Rangers and Colby Lewis had "very small, limited talks" regarding a contract extension early in the offseason, the right-hander told T.R. Sullivan of"They wanted to know how I felt. Nothing came of it this offseason. If something comes up, it will come up, but I'm not too concerned about it." Lewis is a projected free agent after this season.
  • Peter O'Malley, the former owner of the Dodgers, has withdrawn his bid for the franchise, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.  O'Malley's group was one of 11 to advance to the second round of bidding, although O'Malley was apparently concerned that he might not be awarded the franchise even if he placed the highest bid, sources tell Shaikin.
  • Tom Verducci of has a look at a handful of veteran free agents who are getting the Storage B treatment, i.e. being pushed out of the game because their services are simply no longer in demand. Among the candidates are Ivan Rodriguez and Jason Varitek.

Quick Hits: Ramirez, Lewis, Damon, Pinto, Bowker

The latest links from around MLB as rumors about Prince Fielder and the Nationals continue to swirl…

Rangers Exercise Option On Colby Lewis

The Rangers exercised their club option on righty Colby Lewis, tweets Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  The $3.25MM option was an easy choice over the $250K buyout, as Lewis is clearly worth keeping and he'd have earned more in arbitration.

Lewis, 32, has given the Rangers 401 1/3 innings of 4.06 ball since returning from Japan on a free agent contract.  He's added another 50 innings with a 2.34 ERA in the postseason.    

This Date In Transactions History: Colby Lewis

357110601021_Rangers_at_Rays The Rangers and Tigers kicked off their ALCS matchup tonight, but that's not the only thing tying these two teams together. Our Transaction Tracker shows that GMs Dave Dombrowski and Jon Daniels have gotten together for four trades, most notably the Gerald Laird swap. A seven-year-old waiver claim is the more interesting transaction though; on this date in 2004, the Tigers claimed Colby Lewis off waivers from the Rangers.

Lewis, slated to start Game Three for Texas on Tuesday, was little more than a failed prospect back then. He made three starts in 2004 before requiring rotator cuff surgery, and he'd pitched to a 6.83 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 5.6 BB/9 in 176 2/3 innings for the Rangers before Detroit claimed him. The Tigers got nothing, literally zero innings, out of Lewis in 2005 (majors and minors) because of the shoulder, then he spent the majority of 2006 in Triple-A before making two late season appearances in the big leagues.

That is the extent of Lewis' career with the Tigers, just three innings across two appearances. The team granted him free agency after the season, and he soon caught on with the Nationals. The 2007 calendar year saw the right-hander spend time with the Nats, Athletics, and Royals, but he didn't do enough to stick around. Lewis then headed to Japan and pitched very well for the Hiroshima Carp in 2008 and 2009, putting himself back on the map.

Lewis' performance with the Carp earned him a two-year deal worth $5MM with the Rangers prior to last season, the team that originally drafted him in 1999. The Tigers claimed him seven years ago today hoping he'd realize his potential and help a pitching staff that had just allowed the third most runs in the league. It took a trip to Japan before Lewis figured things out, and in a few days he'll start for the team that waived him and against the team that claimed him.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

Odds & Ends: Lee, Lewis, Blue Jays, Moyer

Links for Friday as the Rangers prepare for a crucial game 3 tomorrow night..

Odds & Ends: Cubs, Simmons, Crisp, Royals

On a night when Brian Matusz stifled the AL West leaders, here are some news items…

Why Didn’t Colby Lewis Get More Money?

It's clear now that the Rangers made a great free agent signing with Colby Lewis.  The 31-year-old righty ranks 15th in the American League with a 3.28 ERA and sixth with 150 strikeouts.  He was signed for just $5MM over two years, with a chance for $8MM over three years if the Rangers exercise their 2012 club option.

In February, Lewis told ESPN's Tim Kurkjian of his multiyear deal, "Things like that don't happen very often."  Kurkjian explained the rarity of a player going to Japan, returning to MLB, and thriving.  Even so, I'm still surprised Lewis didn't get a bigger contract.  A $5MM commitment – teams will spend that much on a couple of draft picks despite a lower probability of success.  Low-upside free agents like Miguel Tejada, Ivan Rodriguez, Jason Kendall, and Jason Marquis received more money last winter.  Heck, the Rangers guaranteed $7.5MM to Rich Harden for one year.  The Athletics gave Ben Sheets $10MM.

Interest was heavy – Kurkjian said 12 or 13 clubs were in on Lewis and the Twins and A's also offered two-year deals.  MLB teams had two years to scout the new-and-improved Lewis in Japan.  Rangers GM Jon Daniels told Kurkjian, "[Lewis] was throwing 90-to-95 with a hard cutter. Other teams saw the same thing."  Lewis' numbers in Japan were ridiculously good, too.  Why didn't anyone outbid the Rangers?  Perhaps teams took the approach of, "better the devil you know than the devil you don't" and allocated free agent money toward players they were able to scout in MLB games.

Odds & Ends: Santana, Morales, Rangers, Mariners

Links for Thursday, as Omar Vizquel goes deep for the first time this year…

Odds & Ends: Griffey, Padres, Suzuki, Pedroia, Haren

Hard to believe that Ken Griffey Jr.'s retirement will only be the second biggest story of the day. Here are some more links to check out…

Stark On Oswalt, Braves, Carmona, Yankees

Astros scouts haven't been told to watch specific teams or players, so Roy Oswalt doesn't need to start preparing for life after Houston just yet.'s Jayson Stark has the details on Oswalt and more rumblings from around the major leagues:

  • Oswalt has told friends he'd love to play in St. Louis and it's believed that he would be interested in joining the Dodgers and Braves.
  • We've heard lots about the $29MM remaining on Oswalt's deal, but the Angels have some money, according to an official Stark spoke to. The Nationals may be "the one team that would pay the whole freight on the contract."
  • GM Andrew Friedman says he wasn't sure how Rafael Soriano's National League experience would translate to the American League East when the Rays dealt for him last offseason. Needless to say, the Rays have been pleased with Soriano's dominant start to the season.
  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. tells Stark that other teams offered Jose Contreras "much more money" last winter.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren says he's pleased with Eric Hinske's play and notes that teams probably don't pay enough attention to their benches.
  • Wren says the Braves would not have interest in adding a starting pitcher. Besides their current rotation, they have the injured Jair Jurrjens and Triple A pitcher Chris Resop.
  • GM Jon Daniels says the Rangers saw "a guy with major league ability and pedigree" when they scouted Colby Lewis in Japan last year.
  • One scout says the Blue Jays are definitely tracking Fausto Carmona and have watched his last 12 starts.
  • The Red Sox have tried trading Mike Lowell unsuccessfully, but they aren't eager to eat the $8MM-plus remaining on his salary. 
  • Rival clubs say the Yankees haven't decided what their trade deadline needs are, though they're showing some interest in versatile outfield bats.