UPDATE II: Slusser also hears that despite re-signing Colon, the A’s still have interest in bringing back Brandon McCarthy.
UPDATE: Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Colon will receive a $3 million base salary and could earn more with incentives.
4:37 PM: Well, here’s a surprise.
According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, the Athletics and Bartolo Colon have reached agreement on a one-year contract. Terms haven’t been disclosed.
Colon joined the A’s on a one-year, $2 million contract in January and posted a solid 3.43 ERA and 91/23 K/BB ratio over 152 2/3 innings prior to being suspended 50 games for testing positive for testosterone in late August. The 39-year-old right-hander still has five games left on the suspension, so he will begin the 2013 season on the restricted list. However, the fallout of the positive test wasn’t enough to scare the Athletics away. Colon is currently pitching with for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League and recently required stitches after he was hit in the face by a line drive.
The Athletics currently have Colon, Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone and A.J. Griffin lined up for their rotation, so free agent right-hander Brandon McCarthy might not be a fit any longer.
Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.
As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:
That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.