According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon and Astros right-hander Scott Feldman have cleared revocable waivers. This means that they are now both eligible to be traded to any team.
It’s a little surprising to see Colon clear waivers, but evidently teams were reluctant to claim him because he’s under contract for $11 million in what will be his age-42 season next year. Still, he hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down this season, posting a 3.82 ERA over 25 starts with 130 strikeouts and 22 walks over 167 1/3 innings. He has a 3.35 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break.
Feldman is owed $18 million from 2015-2016 and has shown diminished velocity this season while posting a mediocre 4.37 ERA with 78 strikeouts over 136 innings, so it’s not as surprising to see him pass through. Remember, the Astros could have just dumped his contract if he was claimed. Still, Feldman has pitched better this month, so perhaps the Astros could find a taker if they pick up some of the tab.
The Angels don’t have much in the way of prospects, but Garrett Richards’ season-ending knee injury makes them a natural fit for either Colon or Feldman. The Mets and Astros figure to get calls from multiple contenders over the next week.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.