Earlier, we learned, via The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, that veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson wants to play another year in the majors. Rosenthal has since added that fellow veteran Bartolo Colon also wants to continue his playing career in 2019.
Colon, 45, has had a rough last couple of years. In 2017, with the Braves and Twins, he posted a 6.48 ERA in 143 innings. Last season, he compiled a 5.78 ERA in 146 1/3 innings with the Rangers. According to FanGraphs, Colon’s fastball averaged a career-low 87.4 MPH in 2018. And no pitcher (min. 130 innings) gave up a higher percentage of hard contact than Colon did last year at 43.9 percent of batted balls.
Colon inked a minor league contract with the Rangers last February and will likely have to settle for another minor league deal in an attempt to continue playing. Though Colon appears to have fallen off in his mid-40’s, a rebuilding club could do worse than to bring in a seasoned veteran, even if he doesn’t ultimately end up making the 25-man roster. Colon, a fan favorite, could help mentor young pitchers.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).