Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Is Colon Signing Rational?

In a nut shell...Yes! But...

Something is not right with Bartolo. Between 1998 and 2005 he pitched in a minimum of 30 games and could be counted on for a solid 15 wins. In fact, he was the second winning-est pitcher in that span topping out with 21 wins and a coveted Cy Young award in 2005. Think about that - 2005! That is not long ago. In 2006 he had some shoulder issues, and last year had some elbow issues. You'll hear that towards the end of last year he was looking pretty good in September. The next thing you know, the Sox seemingly pick him up off the scrap heap for a bare bones minor league deal just two years after winning a Cy Young award?

So, the Angels tossed him aside for nothing, and no other team offers him anything better than a minor league deal? Yes, something is wrong. I do not recall Colon having undergone surgery within the last two years, so here are some possibilities...

1) He has structural damage to either the shoulder or elbow, or both, and won't regain his old form for any extended period of time without surgery.

2) Age and being overweight and not in great shape have caught up to him a little sooner than most, and his best days are simply in the past.

3) He has checked out mentally and no longer has the drive to get it done.

4) (I hate it that we have to consider this these days) I suppose there is a possibility he had been enjoying the benefits of some sort of performance enhancing drugs and had to stop using them due to newly imposed testing procedures and can no longer perform at a top level without them. Hopefully that is not the case, and I'm not implying it is, but worth a thought.

The thing that gets me is if Colon was simply working through a moderate injury last year and that's all, he would not have been let go with no other team interested! Something is wrong, and baseball people know it and are not interested.

But, since the Sox only signed him to a minor league deal, they are taking on a potentially helpful pitcher for very low money ($18,000 per month while he's in the minors and if he's called up he'll get $1.2 million pro-rated over whatever is left of the season at that point). so, it was not a bad idea for Theo to pick him up, and he may prove to be helpful at some point.

I just can't imagine how every other team passed him by if he's got anything left in the tank at all. My guess is that he'll be mediocre at best, and may fill in as a starter, although not with consistent effectiveness. If he somehow is able to pull it together and pitch well, Theo will have made the steal of the year. It is just hard to imagine.

No comments: