The Twins have signed veteran righty Bartolo Colon to a minors deal, per a club announcement. He’ll head to the organization’s top affiliate.
It’s not tough to see the fit. Minnesota has struggled to find reliable innings from its rotation, outside of top starters Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios, and also has depth issues in the bullpen. With the club still holding onto hopes of competing for the postseason, but not interested in punting too much future value for immediate improvements, it’ll take a shot on the veteran castaway just three weeks before the trade deadline.
Minnesota will only be responsible to pay Colon at the league-minimum rate during any time he spends in the majors, with the Braves covering the remainder of his $12.5MM annual salary. Evidently, the Twins offered a more appealing situation — whether in terms of opportunity, competitiveness, or otherwise — than did the Mets, who were among the other teams pursuing Colon.
Colon, 44, had thrived for the Mets over the past three seasons, capping off his time there with 191 2/3 innings of 2.43 ERA ball in 2016. But he has been rocked through 13 starts in the current season, allowing 57 earned runs on 92 hits through 63 innings. The Twins will hope that Colon can regain his pinpoint control while also returning to the good graces of the BABIP gods, who cursed him with a .360 batting average on balls in play and 48.2% strand rate during his time in Atlanta.