A recent tweet by Hector Gomez noted that veteran MLB pitcher Bartolo Colon is attempting another comeback. While the Tweet also states that Colon’s preferred destination is the Mets, perhaps the Twins should have a case to bring back Big Sexy.
This is certainly unconventional, but could benefit both sides. Bartolo’s second-to-last-season was 2017, in which he pitched for the Twins. While that season saw him get off to a horrible start with the Braves, he actually pitched fairly well for a shockingly-decent Twins squad. While his last couple seasons have seen him post ERA figures north of five, and basically he hasn’t struck anyone out, he’s been surprisingly effective. As a back-end rotation option, the Twins could (and have) done worse. If we ignore the fact that Bartolo is 47-years old, he had a better season in 2018 than Homer Bailey did. Okay, that’s maybe not a fair comparison, but he was one of the pitchers that comprised the 2017 Twins rotation with Kyle Gibson, Ervin Santana, Jose Berrios, Adalberto Mejia, and Hector Santiago. Some of those guys are still playing pro baseball. Technically speaking, a couple of them are even Major Leaguers.
The Twins need a few pitchers, as Jake Odorizzi, Rich Hill, and Homer Bailey are all free agents. While Colon is not going to be the headliner in the rotation, every MLB team uses a minimum of seven-to-ten starters these days, and often more. The Twins have used numbers in the high-teens several times in recent 162-game seasons. Giving Colon a chance to pick up a few of those starts is a nearly no-risk move—either he gives you a performance that keeps him in the rotation, or you move on to the next option. The nationwide attention this move would generate is merely a plus.
For Bartolo, we know he wants to return to the Mets, where he spent several years of his career, and retire as a Met. But Bartolo pitched for a lot of teams, and is universally loved throughout baseball. As the Twins were among the last stops on his professional tour, they are an organization with which he should be fairly familiar. While the coaching staff has changed, much of the front office and a handful of the players remain the same. The Twins also have apparently perfected the art of eternal youth, as both Nelson Cruz and Rich Hill can testify towards. A solid 2021 in Minnesota could lead Colon to a 2022 contract elsewhere.