The Rangers have released Bartolo Colon from his minor-league contract, TR Sullivan of MLB.com reports. Colon was in camp competing for a starter or long relief job, but evidently his performance this spring didn’t convince the club to add him to the MLB roster at this time. However, Sullivan reports in a separate tweet that the Rangers are interested in trying to keep Colon around for Triple-A depth, and that the two sides are still discussing a way to make that happen.
Cole Hamels, Matt Moore, Doug Fister and Mike Minor were already locks to make the club’s rotation, so Colon had to beat out a lot of competition (including Tim Lincecum and Jesse Chavez) in order to win the final job. However, with Martin Perez expected to return on April 5th, the club wouldn’t seem to have an immediate need for the 44-year-old Colon.
Colon has seen playing time in parts of 20 MLB campaigns, including a Cy Young-winning 2005. Though he sat out 2010 (which would have been his age-36 season) due to shoulder damage, a stem-cell treatment revived his career and helped him post at least 2.4 fWAR in six consecutive seasons. A 6.48 ERA showing last year caused him to settle for a minor-league deal, but as a fan favorite, “Big Sexy” would still seem to have a shot at cracking the Rangers’ rotation at some point this season if he indeed agrees to start the year at Triple-A Round Rock.