The pitcher infamously known as Big Sexy has publicly put his MLB future in doubt, but thoughts of that have been put aside as it was announced that Bartolo Colon has signed a MiLB deal with the Texas Rangers for 2018. The deal includes an invitation to spring training where Colon will try to make the big league roster for Opening Day.
John Blake, Executive VP of Communications for the Rangers, shared the news on Twitter Sunday:
Rangers have agreed to terms with free agent RHP Bartolo Colon on a 2018 minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He was 7-14 with Braves and Twins in 2017, his 20th ML season.
— John Blake (@RangerBlake) February 4, 2018
Bartolo Colon Signs MiLB deal with Texas Rangers
To start his career, Colon was signed as a free agent by the Cleveland Indians in 1993. His debut would come four years later for the Indians in 1997. It was in Cleveland that he would spend most of his career, six years to be exact, and he would acquire a 3.92 ERA with 873 strikeouts. During his time in Cleveland, he was named an All-Star in 1998. Before the 2002 trade deadline, Colon, along with Tim Drew, was traded to the Montreal Expos (now Washington Nationals) in exchange for first baseman Lee Stevens, second baseman Brandon Phillips, center fielder Grady Sizemore, and pitcher Cliff Lee. After spending a year in Montreal, Colon was traded again, this time with infielder Jorge Nunez, to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for pitcher Orlando Hernandez, pitcher Rocky Biddle, and first baseman Jeff Liefer.
After the year in Chicago, Colon would sign as a free agent with the Los Angeles Angels. Colon would spend four years there, during which he would win a Cy Young Award in 2005, and be named an All-Star the same year. In his two years with the Angels, Colon acquired a 4.66 ERA with 422 strikeouts. After declaring free agency, Colon would sign a contract with the Boston Red Sox for the minor leagues. That contract was purchased by the Red Sox on May 21st, 2008. At the end of the year, Colon declared free agency and signed with the White Sox for the second time. In the two years he played for the White Sox, Colon had a 3.93 ERA with 211 strikeouts.
Colon’s Twilight Years
After the second go around in Chicago, Colon had to take a year off due to right shoulder injuries and signed with the New York Yankees in 2011. After that year, which ended in an ALCS defeat, Colon signed with the Oakland Athletics on a one-year deal on January 12th, 2012, then another one-year deal in 2013. In those two years, Colon was very good, managing a 2.99 ERA with 208 strikeouts. On December 11th, 2013, Colon signed a three-year deal with the New York Mets, pitching a solid 3.90 ERA with 415 strikeouts. After his contract expired, he signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves, but was released after an 8.14 ERA.
Three days after being released from Atlanta, Colon was picked up by the Minnesota Twins, where he revived his 2017 campaign, pitching a complete game, and becoming the second oldest player to do this in MLB history.
Impact of Signing
Colon will enter Spring Training fighting for a roster spot with Texas, and fans will have to wait and see if he will indeed play in MLB this season. Should he make the team, the Rangers would gain a leader in the clubhouse and a solid veteran presence on the mound. But Big Sexy is getting older, and it may not be too long before he hangs up his cleats.
Embed from Getty Images
Carson Babbini is a sophomore student at the University of Minnesota studying Journalism specifically focusing on Broadcasting with a minor in Sports Management. Carson is a Minnesota sports fan and a sports enthusiast in general. He started writing for Last Word on Baseball on September 21st, 2017. On February 12th, 2018, Carson accepted an editor position as well as writing for the site. Carson is always looking forward to getting the latest news and getting it out to the public.