Twins interested in being home to Rich Harden’s comeback

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A few weeks ago Rich Harden announced that he was attempting a comeback after not playing in 2012 and now we know at least one team is interested in the oft-injured right-hander.

LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Twins “have been in contact” with Harden’s agent and adds that “this one is heating up pretty quickly.”

Well, at least as quickly as someone almost surely signing a minor-league deal can heat up.

Harden hasn’t had an ERA below 5.00 since 2009 and even when pitching well he never stayed healthy, but if the price is low enough he’s not a bad flier at age 31. I’ve always wondered why, after so many injuries, Harden didn’t shift to the bullpen full time, but presumably the rotation-starved Twins would be looking at him as a starter.

Report: Mets showing interest in Bartolo Colon

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Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.

Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.

Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.