Yankees Sign Bartolo Colon to a Minor League Deal

Via MLB Trade Rumors:

The Yankees missed out on Cliff Lee, but they signed a former Cy Young Award winner who was once traded for the lefty they coveted this winter. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Yankees have signed Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal (Twitter link).

Colon had been showing signs of life in the Dominican Winter League. He last pitched in the big leagues in 2009, throwing 61 solid innings in 12 starts, with a 4.19 ERA.

As far as potential 5th starters go, Colon’s pretty much the best you can bring in on a riskless minor league deal. I don’t know anything about his physical shape, but plenty of players have benefited from taking a full year off from baseball. The 162-game grind doesn’t heal completely in the short off season. I’d say that at this point, Colon is an odds-even chance to be our 5th starter. Normally I don’t read much into “best shape of his life” reports, but (hat tip RAB) Colon did lose something like 40 pounds in order to get into shape for the DWL. For a big man like Colon, that could actually be important.

I’m sure his contract includes some type of opt-out if he doesn’t make the 25-man roster out of spring training. It is hard to imagine that the former Cy Young winner will pitch in Triple-A, and that the Yankees would clear a spot in their already overloaded Scranton rotation for him to pitch.

E.J. Fagan been blogging about Yankee baseball since 2006. He is a Ph.D. student at University of Texas at Austin.