The Twins have prepared their roster moves to accommodate the promotion of recently signed veteran Bartolo Colon. Minnesota will outright fellow righty Dillon Gee, per Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press (via Twitter), with slugger Kennys Vargas being optioned for an active roster spot.
Once that move is official, the 44-year-old Colon will be ready join his tenth MLB organization. The twenty-year MLB veteran signed on with the Twins on a minors deal after a disappointing start to the year with the Braves, who’ll remain responsible for the vast majority of his $12.5MM salary.
With the Minnesota front office eyeing possible pitching upgrades at the trade deadline — with a focus on controllable arms, per reports — it’ll have a few chances to see Colon pitch again in the majors before making any final decisions. It’s unlikely that the ageless wonder will significantly alter the club’s decisionmaking, but if he shows well the team would obviously have somewhat less incentive to consider giving up talent or taking on salary for a short-term rotation boost.
Though Colon was knocked around with the Braves, coughing up 57 earned runs on 92 hits in his 63 frames, he has been much better in recent years. In 2016, in fact, he spun 191 2/3 innings of 3.43 ERA ball. That kind of productivity isn’t to be expected, of course, but perhaps there’s reason to hope he can still turn in some reliable frames. That’d be a welcome development for the Twins, who hope to stay in the postseason hunt but surely don’t wish to push in too many chips to do so as the organization’s new front office keeps the focus on achieving sustainable contention.
Gee, 31, was briefly called up after joining the Twins on a minors deal. But he did not appear before being optioned back to Triple-A. He made four appearances earlier in the year with the Rangers, but has spent most of the season at Triple-A. Gee has been rather effective in his 66 innings over a dozen starts, working to a 3.00 ERA with 7.0 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9. A veteran of eight MLB campaigns, Gee is looking to reestablish himself at the game’s highest level after a pair of rough seasons.