Should The Tigers Consider Bartolo Colon?


It appears pretty obvious that despite the talks of the Tigers being interested in the Cubs Matt Garza, it is more likely that the Tigers are going to wait things out until mid-season to see what they have before making significant moves. Although there is always a chance for a surprise. Without a surprise trade, the Tigers still do have a need for a 5th starter heading into spring training. It’s entirely likely the Tigers are going to just let internal options battle it out, but there is some veteran pitchers still out there on the market if the Tigers should choose that route. Last week, MCB writer Jordan Gorosh took a look at Rich Harden.

This week, I take a look at veteran right handed pitcher Bartolo Colon.

Bartolo Colon was one of the biggest surprises of the 2011 season that not a lot of people outside of New York Yankees fans talk about. Colon, who didn’t even pitch in 2010, went 8-10 for the Yankees with a respectable 4.00 ERA. For a guy that hadn’t thrown over 100 innings since 2005, last season was a tremendous accomplishment. Colon pitched 164 innings for the Yankees. The 164 innings might be a maximum for Colon at this point in his career however. I think I am being kind when I mention that Colon isn’t in the most ideal shape. At the age of 39 in May of 2012, Colon is likely to wear down as a season goes on. Last season’s 2nd half bears that out to be accurate, as Colon stumbled a bit in the 2nd half with an ERA of 4.96.

Despite Colon stumbling in the 2nd half of last season, potentially as a product of wearing down, his 4.96 ERA would’ve been a delight compared to what the Tigers got from 5th starter Brad Penny. Plus, the 1st half of Colon’s season was quality. Colon posted an ERA of 3.20 with an excellent K/BB ratio. In fact, over the course of the season, Colon’s K/BB ratio of 3.38 was the 2nd best of his career. If the Tigers were to limit his innings by skipping an occasional start, Colon could be an effective veteran presence, and then be a usable bullpen piece in a playoff situation. You could even skip a couple of his starts by giving Tigers prospects Jacob Turner and Drew Smyly a few starts here and there just for experience.

I think it’s fair to jump to the conclusion that Colon isn’t going to get multiple years out on the market considering his age. If the money is right, somewhere in the neighborhood of one year for 3M or less, he would be worth a look.

I’m not saying Bartolo Colon is a necessity, but he is a veteran option that fits what the Tigers are looking for. Basically, he is a stop gap until their prospects are ready, and as a bonus, Colon has been in divisional races and pitched in pressure numerous times.

What do you all think of Colon? At least as a one year option?