45-year-old pitcher Bartolo Colon says he intends to keep playing in 2019, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports. This backs up what Colon said back in August. If he does, 2019 will represent his 22nd season in the majors.
Colon has put up poor numbers in each of the last two seasons, finishing 2017 (with the Braves and Twins) with a 6.48 ERA and 2018 (with the Rangers) at 5.78. Last year’s 12.9 percent strikeout rate was his lowest since 2006 and his fastball registered at just 87.4 MPH on average.
It would seem unlikely that Colon would be able to fetch a major league deal, but he will probably be able to find work if he’s willing to accept a minor league contract. Colon could latch on with a team that is in a rebuilding mode and simply needs a veteran to soak up some innings.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.