Bartolo Colon hasn’t been linked to many teams as a free agent, but Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that the Diamondbacks are “showing interest” in him as a potential fifth starter.
After a year out of the big leagues Colon signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees last offseason and made a remarkable comeback, throwing 164 innings with a 4.00 ERA and 135/40 K/BB ratio at age 38.
However, he struggled down the stretch, going 0-4 with a 5.84 ERA in his final eight starts, and prior to last year Colon hadn’t thrown even 100 innings in a season since way back in 2005.
Arizona’s front four is set with Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Daniel Hudson, and Josh Collmenter, but adding Colon to compete with and perhaps delay the arrival of the Diamondbacks’ various young fifth-starter candidates makes sense. For a cheap one-year deal he can still be useful.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.