Bob Melvin on matchup with Mets: “We may intentionally walk Bartolo a couple of times . . .”

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A’s manager Bob Melvin was asked about Oakland facing former teammate Bartolo Colon tomorrow. After noting that he saw Colon hit a double last week, he revealed his game plan:

“I’m looking forward to watching him hit, not necessarily looking forward to facing him,” Melvin said. “I did [see his double recently]. I’ve seen some of his hacks here before, too.

“We may walk Bartolo intentionally a couple of times just to get him on the basepaths, see him run around a little bit.”

Oh please, oh please, oh please. I’d pay good money to see this. Especially if Terry Collins gives Colon the green light to swipe second.

In other news, given the Mets’ offense, it may be the best game plan for legitimate reasons as well as comedic ones.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.