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Bartolo Colon Talking Deal With the A’s

January 14, 2012

The A’s looked poised to become one of the youngest teams in baseball in 2012, but a Buster Olney report could change that. Olney of ESPN tweeted,

“Oakland Athletics are in negotiations with Bartolo Colon.”

Colon, who will turn 39 this May, spent last season with the  New York Yankees. He threw 164 1/3 innings for the Bombers, posting a 3.83 FIP and an even 4.00 ERA. His xFIP was even better at 3.57 despite the fact that Colon was quite close (11.4%) to his career HR/FB average (11.0%). In hurling the Yankees to 2.9 WAR, he appeared in 29 games (26 of them starts), with a good 7.4 K/9 (higher than his 7.o career mark) and 2.2 BB/9 (besting his 3.0 career mark) and an even with his career mark 1.1 HR/9 despite playing the bandbox that is Yankee Stadium. Colon induced groundballs like he always has and his 44.2% GB% and had a slightly high .305 BABIP that likely kept his ERA from dipping below the four-run mark. It is an unknown what to expect out of Colon as a 39 year old, but yesterday I advocated getting a Roy Oswalt as someone to be dealt during the deadline and Colon, the 2005 Cy Young Award winner, would surely work in a similar situation.

It is unknown what Colon is looking for at this point, but last year with New York he earned $900K. This past season Colon gave the A’s fits, earning his first shutout in half a decade on Memorial Day. During that very efficient game, it took only 103 pitches to silence the already somewhat silent A’s bats, as he allowed four hits, walked none and struck out six. He has loved pitching at the Coliseum where he owns a 5-1 record with a 2.33 ERA in 42 innings of work, his best numbers save for his time pitching at Safeco where he has a 9-1 record with a 2.09 ERA.

I think a move to get a pitcher like Colon would be a wise one for the A’s as it would give them the opportunity to stockpile some of their pitchers at Triple-A Sacramento and introduce them to MLB hitters as the organization deems it appropriate and likewise would offer them the opportunity to send guys back down should MLB prove to be beyond their present skillset.

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