ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Bartolo Colon has signed another minor league contract with the Texas Rangers, who anticipate the 44-year-old right-hander starting their fifth game but are making no promises beyond that.
With left-hander Martin Perez expected to start the season on the 10-day disabled list, and the Rangers wanting Mike Minor to pitch on extended rest when starting for the first time in four seasons, they will need a spot starter April 2 at Oakland. That is where Colon fits in for now.
“Let’s get through that and then we’ll see,” general manager Jon Daniels said Monday when asked if it would be a one-time start for Colon with Texas or could lead to more appearances.
Colon went to spring training with a minor league contract and had a 3.00 ERA over 18 innings in his five starts. The Rangers said when they cut him Saturday that they were working to renegotiate a new deal. The initial deal would have paid him $1.75 million if he had been added to the 40-man roster, with another potential $1.3 million in performance bonuses based on innings.
Texas also signed infielder Trevor Plouffe to another minor league deal. Both Plouffe and Colon were assigned to Triple-A Round Rock’s roster.
Colon didn’t speak to reporters when he was in the clubhouse while it was open to media before Monday night’s exhibition game against the Cincinnati Reds.
When Daniels was asked why Colon was willing to sign another minor league deal, the GM said he wasn’t sure what other opportunities were there for the pitcher.
“I think he liked it here. He liked both the players and the environment, and staff,” Daniels said. “He really seemed to connect with some of the starters. You’d see a lot of them kind of huddled around him.”
Colon was 7-14 with a 6.48 ERA in 28 starts for Atlanta and Minnesota last season. He was released by the Braves on July, then signed with the Twins and went 5-6 with a 5.18 ERA in 15 starts for them.
He has 240 victories in 20 seasons with 10 teams, including the Montreal Expos, and is only three wins shy of matching Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for the most by a pitcher born in the Dominican Republic. The portly right-hander has posted 21 wins against Texas, the most by any pitcher.
The Rangers haven’t discussed with Colon the possibility of pitching in the minors if there isn’t an immediate need for another spot starter after the game against the Athletics, one of his former teams.
“We haven’t asked him that yet,” Daniels said.